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University of Missouri

The Making of a Mace

Mizzou employees and students create a ceremonial mace.

Ceremonial maces in higher education go back to the Middle Ages. A bearer carries one during processions at graduation ceremonies and other formal events.

Most higher education institutions own one. For 174 years, the University of Missouri did not.

This year, MU employees and students crafted a mace that made its premiere at Chancellor Loftin’s Sept. 18, 2014, inauguration. The mace combines the old and the new. Its wood is from a beam from Switzler Hall, the oldest academic building on campus. Its four brass medallions and cap, representing the Jesse Hall dome and spire, were produced using computer technology and a 3-D printer, courtesy of the College of Engineering. Etched on the medallions are MU’s academic seal and representations of Thomas Jefferson, the Columns and the Memorial Union tower. The Mizzou Alumni Association funded the mace’s creation.

“Maces are symbolic of the institution they represent,” Loftin says. “And now we have one which will last hundreds of years.”