Antioch University Los Angeles just barely got their academic mace in time for the 2006 graduation. Chris Wolfe, Manager of Alumni and Donor Relations at the Southern California campus of Antioch University, sent an e-mail inquiry on 19 April 06 about the possibility of having a new mace in hand by graduation eight weeks later. That e-mail triggerred a flurry of e-mail messages plus several overnight mailings, but the mace was delivered two days ahead of their target date.
The most critical aspect of mace-making is design. Chris had a Commencement Team up and running in preparation for the 2006 commencement so they just added "mace design" to their list of Things to Do, and it worked. They provided me with the elements of university history, mission, and goals which I then used to develop a design similar to the two other academic maces which I have made for other colleges (see other articles here for those stories). I made a full-size drawing of the proposed design and over-nighted it to Chris to share with his committee. The president of the university decided that the material of the mace should be redwood, native to California. And then, to honor one of their retiring professors, they asked if a metal band could be included which could later be engraved. In the time available, a metal band proved too difficult so a band of walnut was substituted. I made the walnut ring, over-nighted it to Chris who got it laser-engraved, and then over-nighted it back to me. I was then able to fully assemble the final product after giving it many coats of varnish and buffing it out.
The walnut ring was engraved thus: "In Honor of Sara K. Winter, PhD, Distinguished Member of the Antioch Family, From 1977 - 2006." Congratulations to you, Dr. Winter, for being such a valued member of the faculty that you were chosen to be honored in such a manner.
The symbology of the mace is as follows: The finial on the top recognizes the integration of the Theory and Practice in pointing the Way to the Future. The large ball near the top holds the 4" brass medallion of the university. The large ring just below the ball symbolizes Social Justice and the three rings below that symbolize the Individual, the Community, and the World. It is between that large ring and the group of three where
Of interest is that this mace request was accompanied by a request for a mini-mace, or "macette, besides the full sized one. The mini is about 12" long and can be seen in the photo compared to the big one.
Fortunately, I was able to integrate the engraved walnut ring into the overall mace and get it all varnished, buffed, and mailed to Antioch University in time for graduation and especially to honor Dr. Winter. Unfortunately, I was never given a photograph of Dr. Winter with the mace so we can all see them together.
As always, it was a great pleasure to make this symbol for Antioch University. In spite of the short time available, Chris Wolfe and I were able to easily coordinate all the elements and bring the project to a successful conclusion on time. This is something they will keep and cherish for many years to come. This mace should last a hundred years or more.