Jostens puts grads’ memories down on paper
A Maine East High School diploma manufactured by Jostens, Inc. | Contributed photo
NAME: Jostens, Inc.
SPECIALTY: Diplomas, class rings and other graduation regalia
Updated: July 8, 2012 8:32AM
More than 400 students were set to walk across the stage at the Akoo Theater on June 4 to receive a piece of paper — but not just any piece of paper.
This much-anticipated piece of paper is a high-school diploma, marking four years at Maine East High School and all of the accomplishments tied to those years, as well as those to come in students’ future.
Jostens, Inc., a company that specializes in graduation products for high-school and college students, has been providing diplomas to thousands of schools for more than 60 years.
Jostens was founded by a jeweler 115 years ago in Minnesota. The first products the company sold were class rings and over time they started to offer yearbooks and graduation products.
“Probably graduation is the single most important event at a high school,” said Rich Stoebe, director of communications for Jostens, Inc.
The use of graduation regalia has been a tradition for more than 600 years, Stoebe explained.
Stoebe said diplomas tell the story and reveal the personality of a school, and schools are able to personalize and customize them with school colors, mascots and other additions.
Maine East High School is one of the many high schools that have been using Jostens for several years.
“We’ve been very happy with them,” Assistant Principal Dino Dilegge said.
Every fall, Dilegge explained, a representative from Jostens visits the school and students are able to order class rings. Dilegge said the company delivers the merchandise by fall so students will be able to enjoy their class rings their entire senior year. He said it’s nice that students get to see the real products instead of just viewing them on the Internet.
“It’s a lot different when you hold it in your hand,” DiLegge said, adding that students are able to incorporate into their rings activities they were involved in while at Maine East, as well as their own individual style.
Stoebe said Jostens sales representatives play an important role in working with schools.
“They are trained to be the experts when it comes to traditions and symbols,” Stoebe said. “They work very closely with the schools.”
DiLegge said the school uses Jostens for its class rings, diplomas, caps and gowns, and yearbooks.
“We definitely are a leader in the area,” Stoebe said, noting that the company works with schools across the United States and some outside of the country.
Stoebe said students can go online and design their own customized rings.
Jostens uses a mix of old and new technology to create its products, Stoebe explained. He said they use some vintage printing presses to do foil stamping and new digital printing for personalization.
The stated mission of Jostens is to help people express themselves, celebrate experiences and traditions, recognize achievements and share their stories.
According to Jostens, the company aims to provide the personalization that will make diplomas and class rings for students at Maine East High School meaningful items they can cherish for a lifetime.