The University Mace
The NC State University Mace is carried by the chief faculty marshal, a position held by the chair of the faculty.
The academic mace, derived from a medieval weapon, represents the need to protect and nurture the fragile search for knowledge.
The NC State University Mace has been specifically designed for this community. It is being carried for the first time at this installation ceremony. Each aspect of the mace represents an important characteristic of the university.
When freestanding, the mace is supported in a base of North Carolina stone representing the foundation of knowledge and the dependence of this academic community on the support of the people. At the base of the mace is a brass ring with the names of individuals who have held the position of chancellor, indicating the contribution of generations of academic leaders to the formation and maturation of NC State University.
The long lower fluted handle is the primary means by which the mace is grasped, representing the responsibility for the stewardship of knowledge.
The shorter fluted, upper handle is the primary means by which direction is shown, and therefore represents the responsibility for guardianship. A block embedded with the seal of the university on four faces represents the university community and its charge to reach out in all directions.
At the top of the mace is a geometric progression of layers representing the continual experimentation and testing of knowledge within the NC State academic community. At the very top of the mace is a bronze prow symbolizing the continual exploration that energizes our community
The mace is fashioned from burled walnut recovered from a North Carolina tree felled in a storm, emphasizing the need to make wise use of resources even in difficult circumstances.
The wood is a gift of the Jordan family, representing the importance of the generosity of the people of North Carolina to the university.
The wood is complemented by bronze and silver fittings emphasizing the precious nature of the academic experience in society.
During the course of fabrication, an error was made. After much discussion, the design team decided to make the revisions necessary to correct the error rather than refabricate the flawed component.
This adjustment, difficult to identify, represents the valuable lessons learned from failure as an essential component of the university experience.
The mace was designed and fabricated by a team that included College of Design Dean Marvin J. Malecha, Chris Jordan (1975, Product Design), Jack Lancaster and Jim Dean (1983, Product Design) in the College of Design Materials Laboratory.