University of Rochester

After Words


Mighty Mace

after words photo

ACADEMIC EMBLEM: During this spring’s commencement season, University Marshal Jesse Moore carried the University mace as a symbol of the dignity and tradition of each ceremony. Tracing its roots to English universities, the mace, originally a weapon of defense, is an emblem of academic authority. At Rochester, the mace was introduced during the induction of Alan Valentine as president in 1935 and has been used in academic processions ever since. Designed by Philip Merz, who also is responsible for many of the architectural features of the early River Campus buildings, the mace is about four feet long and is made of mahogany and hand-wrought silver. On the head is the University seal and below is a silver band with the engraved names of past University presidents.