The Academic Ceremonial Mace at the University of Alaska

The Academic ceremonial Mace at the University of Alaska

The university mace was designed as the symbol of the university for ceremonial purposes. The Alumni Association commissioned artist and Assistant Professor of Art Ron Senungetuk to design and construct the mace and then presented the mace to the university in 1967, the golden anniversary year of the founding of the university.

The beautiful piece was made with a rosewood handle and, in the center of the head of the mace framed with silver and jade, are the seals of the University of Alaska and the State of Alaska mounted back-to-back. The artist also designed and constructed a stand for the mace and a wooden box in which it is stored and transported.

The 1967 commencement parade led by university marshal William Cashen, flanked by Regent Elmer Rasmuson on the left and Dean Earl Beistline on the right. Cashen carried the ceremonial university mace. The mace is 35.5" long and weighs 2 pounds and 7 ounces. The commencement marshal, usually selected from senior members of the faculty who are retiring, carries the mace at the annual commencement ceremony in Fairbanks. The mace is not on display during the year and is housed in a secure location in the UAF Registrar's Office.

The mace, originally a weapon, has over the centuries become a symbol of order and authority. Today, the mace has a place in the ceremonial events of many organizations— national, state, and civic governments, for example, and a great number of the world's universities.

The University of Alaska Ceremonial Mace is carried by the Marshal of the University in the processions that begin and end academic exercises, including commencements, inaugurations, and special convocations.