UD Home | UDaily | UDaily-Alumni | UDaily-Parents

UD called 'epicenter' of 2008 presidential race

Refreshed look for 'UDaily'

Fire safety training held for Residence Life staff

New Enrollment Services Building open for business

UD Outdoor Pool encourages kids to do summer reading

UD in the News

UD alumnus Biden selected as vice presidential candidate

Top Obama and McCain strategists are UD alums

Campanella named alumni relations director

Alum trains elephants at Busch Gardens

Police investigate robbery of student

UD delegation promotes basketball in India

Students showcase summer service-learning projects

First UD McNair Ph.D. delivers keynote address

Research symposium spotlights undergraduates

Steiner named associate provost for interdisciplinary research initiatives

More news on UDaily

Subscribe to UDaily's email services

UDaily is produced by the Office of Public Relations
The Academy Building
105 East Main St.
Newark, DE 19716-2701
(302) 831-2791

The history behind the processional mace

The mace of the University of Delaware (foreground) shown with the chain of office and cap and gown worn by President David P. Roselle at Commencement.

Click here for low-resolution video of UD’s 156th Commencement

Click here for high-resolution video of UD’s 156th Commencement

Click here for low-resolution video of Jeff Shaara's address

Click here for high-resolution video of Jeff Shaara's address

Click here for Commencement 2005 photo album

See related articles:

UD celebrates its 156th Commencement

Shaara tells grads they’re ‘blessed with opportunity’

William DeLauder awarded honorary degree

Honorary degree citation for William B. DeLauder

W.D. Snodgrass receives doctor of humane letters

Honorary degree citation for W.D. Snodgrass

Class of 2005 finds improved job market

Senior class raises $47,000 for gift to UD

Four students recognized for special academic achievement

Success continues for McNair/University Undergraduate Scholars

Graduate Profile: From Nigeria to Newark--it’s been a trip for UD senior

Graduate Profile: Student's challenge motivates him to success

Graduate Profile: Peace Corps first stop for new grad

About UD’s 156th Commencement

Graduation numbers

Commencement marshals ‘vital’ to ceremony

Academic regalia

Why a mace?

Commencements past

7 p.m., May 28, 2005--If you trace its history back far enough, the mace—the ornamental staff carried at the lead of the Commencement procession—was originally a weapon of war.

Traditionally used by horsemen and warriors to unseat battle opponents and smash heavy armor during tournaments, it was typically made entirely of metal and was crafted to include a grooved head with lethally sharp spikes.

After abandoning its barbaric roots for more genteel pursuits in the Middle Ages, the mace became associated with high-level state occasions and eventually gained prominence as a modern-day symbol of power, authority and dignity, according to a booklet published by the University Archives.

In keeping with this current symbolism, the University’s mace, which has the elaborate features of an early 14th-century model, is carried before the platform group by the University marshal during academic processions to signify the dignity and sovereignty of the University.

Acquired in 1971, UD’s mace is 42 inches long and weighs nine and one-half pounds. The head of the mace is 10 inches in diameter and displays eight diamond-shaped, enamel-and-gold-plated silver panels that alternate the Blue Hen and the American holly—the state bird and state tree, respectively.

A handcrafted work of art, the mace is part of the University’s Permanent Art Collection.

  E-mail this article

To learn how to subscribe to UDaily, click here.