A Glimpse of Michigan State University: History, Future and the University Mace
Michigan State University is pleased to include the University mace in commencement ceremonies. The introduction of the mace, at the Founders’ Day celebration and inauguration of MSU’s twentieth president in February 2005, served to commemorate the sesquicentennial celebration. The University, founded in 1855, celebrated its 150th birthday. The
Historically, the mace is a symbol of authority dating from medieval times when knights carried them during processions with their kings. As the tradition grew, the mace became a ceremonial symbol of peaceful leadership, and maces were embellished with jewels and metals. Today, a university’s mace is carried before the president or chancellor and platform-party dignitaries during commencement and inaugural and other academic ceremonial processions.
The Michigan State University mace, 42 inches in length, includes important institutional symbols in its
This oak-carved seal derives from an 1869 State Board of Agriculture (now,
The mace’s crown is trimmed with a maple
In its soaring vertically, Beaumont Tower continues to inspire the MSU community and is an appropriate symbol for the MSU mace. As President Robert S. Shaw (1928-41) stated at the tower’s dedication, it has served as “a unifying factor” to remind us, even through our individual activities, of the overall mission of Michigan State University: to inspire us by “appealing to many of the better things in us” and to encourage us to “live up to higher standards, scholastically, socially, morally, and spiritually in all of our affairs.”