My SO just earned a PhD and received their diploma, and we were both puzzled by the wording. I'm copying it line by line, including punctuation (but omitting the school/personal specifics in brackets). Would someone please explain the grammar of the parts I've put in italics?
By authority of the Board of Trustees of the
and upon recommendation of the [Governing Body]
at [City Name]
has been admitted to the Degree of
and is entitled to all rights and honors thereto appertaining [sic, no period]
Witness the Seal of the University and the Signatures of its Officers
this ninth day of August, two thousand and twenty-one.
I've never heard anyone use the phrase "admit to" with anything other than an event, place (literal or figurative), or membership. Are people also admitted to degrees?
Since there is no punctuation breaking up the last 3 lines except the capitalized W of Witness, should we assume there is a missing period, or are the first and second lines grammatically connected? And either way, what part of speech does Witness serve here? Is it an imperative verb? A noun indicating that the Seal and Signatures are the witness with some understood linking verb?