Diplomas are like stock certificates. Stock certificates are possessed by people to prove partial ownership through corporate shares. A bearer’s stock certificate entitles the holder to exercise all legal rights associated with the stock. At GM, you buy it; at a university, you earn it. In both cases the value of the stock is directly proportional to the perceived value of the enterprise and its work.
Paraphrased from Our University: Stock Certificates, February 14, 2008
Walter V. Wendler
Graduates of any university hope the value of their diploma will rise, pushed by academic excellence and leadership and the ever-increasing quality of the institution in which they own stock.