Ridgewood students keeping firm busy
5/23/11Norridge Ridgewood High School held it's graduation ceremony on Monday night. | Tamara Bell~Sun Times Media
Where are your diplomas displayed?
Updated: July 3, 2012 10:22AM
It is no question that school staff and district personnel are some of the busiest employees at the beginning of May; but perhaps busier employees are those that produce the hundreds of thousands of diplomas
that graduates across the country receive every year at this time.
“It presents a few challenges, yes,” said Tony Leavitt, Herff Jones’ plant manager in Iola, Kansas.
Herff Jones is one of the top graduation regalia manufacturers in the area, serving schools including Ridgewood High School and numerous other schools in the Chicago area.
The manufacturer has in excess of 15,000 customers in the United States, Canada and South America, and will ship out more than 100,000 diplomas and diploma covers each week during its peak delivery season.
Leavitt explained that the time it takes to produce and deliver the diplomas after they’ve been ordered is usually about than 4 to 6 weeks, and makes for a hectic day at the office.
“Our advertised production time is 4 to 6 weeks; however, our average order cycle is 2 to 3 weeks,” Leavitt said.
When Ridgewood’s roughly 200 seniors graduate June 11-each of them will receive a traditionally-designed diploma produced by Herff Jones’ highly specialized equipment and tooling.
Leavitt explained that the company’s machines perform quality engraving, foil stamping and offset printing to meet the needs of all schools’ diploma designs, whether they be more traditional or customized.
Making class rings, caps and gowns, graduation announcements and diplomas for Chicago schools has been Herff Jones’ legacy for over 50 years.
Over a span of 100 years, the company has gone from making bullet dies and bronze stars for the war effort in the 1940s to creating achievement regalia for schools and athletes in the NCAA and the NFL.
Herff Jones has produced championship rings for the University of Florida, as well as the Super Bowl XLI rings for the Indianapolis Colts.