Friday, April 20, 2007

Got a question

Nana's father graduated from the University of Texas - Galveston with a Medical degree in 1900.

His diploma was displayed in his office until the 1920s when a fire destroyed his office and his diploma along with it.

Nana remembers the office burning, and her father losing his diploma rather vividly, and since she's going to be 100 years old in August, we figure it might be nice to present her with a copy of her fathers medical degree.

My question is, how would we go about getting a copy of his diploma?

Mom has tried going through UT Galveston, but they're not being real helpful about it -- considering that Nana's dad died in 1931, I don't think there's much chance of us getting him to sign a release.

Anyone got any ideas on how to shake things loose down in Galveston?



Anonymous said...

By law, every county in Texas has an appointed County Historical Commission and most have other historical groups as well. The Texas Historical Commission in Austin can put you in contact with the right folks in any county if you can't find them online (I'm the Chairperson for my county). We've tackled all sorts of requests, and I'd hope the folks in Galveston would do the same for you. Been reading your blog a long time, and as the daughter of a former law officer, I've really enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

Slightly different subject, LD, but are you aware of the birthday greeting program from the White House? See

Anonymous said...

Call Dr. John D. Stobo, President, UTMB-Galveston at 409-772-1902. Talk to his assistant and explain your problem. Tell her you would like her to deliver your message to the President and ask for a return phone call. I expect you will receive a call the same day.


Anonymous said...

Completely off topic, but I though you might find THIS
interesting. (I hope that html works!) - at 82 she can still defend herself.

I am a HUGE fan of your blog. I just thought of you when I saw that article! I hope everything works out with the Diploma!


Anonymous said...

Try sending a note or a phone call to the office of your local state representiative. He's probably got a couple of offices in your legislative district.

He's got somebody in his office whose job it is to handle stuff just like that.

If he graduated in the spring of 1900 and received the diploma, it may be that the hurricane September 15th destroyed the school's records, however, unless they're archived at the UT Library in Austin.


Anonymous said...

Hey Lawdog,
First off, I love your writing, it is by turns highly amusing, insightful, and thought-provoking. Thank you, and please continue.

As far as the medical degree thing goes, perhaps the State Medical Licensing Board might have a copy of his diploma on file? 1900 was a while ago, but maybe?

Just my two cents,


Anonymous said...

A copy of a 1900 diploma?
Best I can figure, they took a blank diploma, wrote his name and maybe his degree in by hand, and handed it to him upon graduation. That was the original and probably sole version on the wall. They did not have the technology to make faithful copies of such things back then.
Maybe you can round up some University record of his attendance and graduation, but I really doubt there is such a thing as a copy of a diploma that old.

Anonymous said...

What Jim W said. I work achiving records from the last 120years. When you get that far back, everything "one-off" is just that. You could recreate one if you could find someone elses original from that era, but there won't be a copy. The recreation wouldn't be that tough but finding an original to creat it from might be.

Anonymous said...

You got a badge and a gun don't you? Figure it out. ;)

Anonymous said...

I haven't got anything helpful to say, just that my great-grandfather was also a physician in that corner of Texas in that era. (Which is part of why my grandmother was part of the earliest wave of women admitted to medical school.) I don't know where he went to med school, but he practiced in Kountze.

They might have been classmates.

Wonky coinky-dink.

Anonymous said...


If other of your respondents here are successful in their efforts with the UTMB admin, just let me know.

Though my schedule really doesn't let me take the longer time that'd be necessary to do the digging and other legwork, I'll be honored indeed to make the short drive and pick up the diploma for you.

And yes, the insured, overnight mail will be on me.

Sloop New Dawn
Galveston, TX

rwc said...

My guess is that there won't be a copy, but there should be some records.

Does TX have a version of the public records act (e.g. a TX FOIA statute)? If so, send a request letter citing the statute.

Good luck.


Anonymous said...

Good Luck with the diploma thing. Hope Nana's B-day is a blast!

Gerald said...

I had to request a copy of my Diploma and transcripts several years ago, and the copy I received was not the same as the original from 35 years before: different font and different style. As someone suggested find a copy from the era, and have someone recreate it for you.


Rorschach said...

Lawdog, I have a friend that is a member of the faculty at UTMB Dental School in Houston. If you email me some specifics we can pass the info on to him and see if there is anything that can be done....

Anonymous said...

I dont know about shakeing things loose but you could sure shake them up if got a zombie towalk in the main office there with you looking like John Denver...

PS the historicle society for that area is a good idea for finding a diploma to copy...