Alex Harris’ UC Berkeley diploma is a little different than most because, as he puts it, “There’s a small typo in it”.
But let’s back up a few years. The Stockton native earned his mass communications degree in 2008. He says he sent back the first and second diplomas he received in the mail because they were wrinkled, and one of them arrived in a grubby envelope.
“The third one they sent, we took a look at it and said ‘okay, looks great. No wrinkles.’ I put it in the frame, and it hung on our wall for several years,” said Harris.
But while packing up to move recently, his wife noticed something very wrong with the otherwise distinguished document. “I just heard this big laugh from the other room,” said Harris. “She actually noticed there was this typo.”
The first vowel in the word communications is a “U” instead of an “O.”
“When I saw it, it was just shock,” said Harris.
I mean, sure, accidents happen, but UC Berkeley is one of the finest academic institutions in the world.
Harris noted, “You know, I looked at the keyboard, and ‘O’ and ‘U’ are not next to each other.”
Alex does not have any anger toward his alma mater; he comes from a Cal family. “Yeah, I don’t want to blame them too much. It was probably just one person.”
In fact, he credits his mass communication degree for giving him the instincts to know the typo could be a hit on the internet. However, he didn’t expect it to go viral the way that it has since he posted a picture of it online last week.
“A few million views,” said Harris. “It was a number one on Reddit. It was picked up by the Huffington Post, College Humor, and Ebaums World.”
That is just a few of the places that reported on the spelling error; his diploma really did go viral. “My cousin was telling me somebody in Germany was telling her about it,” Harris noted. “It did surprise me though how much it has gone viral.”
Alex is going to request a correct diploma, as long as he doesn’t have to return his now famous one. He concluded, “There’s no way I’m giving this up.”
FOX40 contacted UC Berkeley and the university tells us they are looking into the matter.