What’s the Weirdest Accoutrement Employed at Commencement? | Inside Higher Ed


Answering the query “what’s the weirdest accoutrement employed at graduation?” takes a little bit of consideration.

Is it the sheer quantity of tassels? One wonders which has been disadvantaged extra—the Southern grandmother’s formal lounge drapes and throw pillows or the strippers’ pasties working the Route 22/322 hall in Pennsylvania.

Or is it the regalia hood and the colours related to explicit disciplines? (I’m offended as a wonderful arts diploma holder to should put on baby-poop brown. Why does music get to put on pink? Completely unfair.) And everybody is aware of that grasp’s diploma regalia sleeves have a definite sensible benefit over doctoral gown sleeves. Within the lengthy recesses of cloth, one has a spot for keys, iPhone, Altoids and, if you happen to dare, a flask (simply be aware of the Jumbotron cameras). The idiosyncrasies of the regalia alone may very well be one other article.

So, what’s it? What’s the weirdest accoutrement at graduation? The mace. Mace? What? What’s that? The sister spice to nutmeg? No, no, no. The mace is the ornate, clublike—or some would possibly describe it because the phallus-shaped object—carried by somebody firstly of the procession. Understanding nods—yeah, what’s that? And extra importantly, why?

The mace originated within the historic Close to East, and its depiction will be seen in artwork relationship again 1000’s of years. In medieval and Renaissance Europe, maces had been a weapon to maintain order among the many ranks and bodily shield the ruler. Now maces are a symbolic vestige of governing authority and energy whereas pointing to the need of peaceable, dignified service to the federal government or establishment, within the case of upper schooling. Used in the course of the official ceremonies resembling graduation, convocation and presidential inaugurations, the mace is carried by a person possessing the very best rank both by place, honor, election or longevity and standing, such because the president/chancellor, college marshal, School Senate chair, the longest-serving college member with the very best educational rank or the highest-achieving pupil.Official carrying Lamar University's mace

Practically each larger schooling establishment has a ceremonial mace, with designs particular and distinctive to its establishment. Often, the mace’s design references institutional structure, official seals and logos, symbols, dates, mottos, and founders. Usually, a mace has three elements: a finial, a head—typically in a number of elements (typically together with a sphere, globe, flame, crown or box-shaped component)—and a shaft. Finials and heads are normally comprised of metallic and should embrace inlays of enamel, semiprecious stones and ceramic medallions, however in addition they will be of wooden or acrylic. The shaft is often tapered and will be inlaid with a metallic ribbon encircling the floor with the tip punctuated by a small knob.

Whereas institutional practices fluctuate, traditions for carrying, dealing with and storing the mace are upheld with seriousness and vigor. When carrying the mace in a procession, the bearer makes use of two arms and rests the mace over the fitting shoulder (that is most popular, however some carry it upright parallel to the physique). When the bearer reaches the platform or stage, the mace is positioned upright in a stand subsequent to the rostrum. When not in use, the mace usually rests horizontally on its aspect in a show case situated within the constructing thought-about the seat of authority (usually the president’s workplace or the Board of Trustees’ convention room). Sometimes, retired maces are on view within the establishment’s library or museum. Most institutional web sites embrace a web page that includes the mace and describing its historical past and symbolism.

The price of designing and fabricating a mace varies extensively based mostly upon the establishment’s selection of designer and supplies. The fee can vary from 5 to 6 figures with funding privately secured by philanthropic giving.


European Heraldry and Royalty Impressed

Eccentric Types and Shapes

Tops Bigger Than a Human Head

Lengthy (5 ft or extra)

Heavy (greater than 20 kilos)

Send me footage of your establishment’s mace, and maybe subsequent 12 months we will do a finest/worst of faculty and college maces competitors.


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