As the academic year comes to a close, thesis and dissertation filings start flowing in and our staff begins mailing the infamous See’s Candy Lollipops all over the world.

“You will be a doctor when they hand you the lollipop at Grad Div.”

“When the lollipop shows up, you’ll know it’s really done! Hope they mail these out now; it was a nice tradition.”

Begun many decades ago, it has been a tradition to ceremoniously bestow a sweet commemorative lollipop with the coveted PhinisheD or Mastered It! labels to graduate students as they file their completed dissertation or thesis at Sproul Hall. Photos abound of proud graduates with their coveted See’s Candy lollipop. Some give them to their children while many frame them in photo boxes, but everyone has a special lollipop memory. It’s the culmination of many years of hard work crystallized into a bite-size morsel.

The pandemic threw a wrench into our in-person lollipop distribution plan, but also forced us to modernize our operation a bit. Before email and document management systems Berkeley graduate students would physically drop off their completed thesis or dissertation on the 3rd floor of Sproul Hall in exchange for a lollipop. Now we deliver these by mail so no matter where our students are in the world they can still celebrate this sweet moment.

Though just one small, comforting token for such a large personal achievement, the lollipop is cherished by grads like Marianne Brasil who filed her Ph.D. in Integrative Biology, and Sarah Stoller who filed her Ph.D. in History and had initially lamented the potential loss of her lollipop until it showed up at her door.

Marianne Brasil
Marianne Brasil, Ph.D., with her congratulatory lollipop

On behalf of the entire Graduate Division Staff, I would like to wish every new graduate the best in their career aspirations as they go forth to improve our world!