Journal Archive > 2001 > September

Our unusual mace

The mace of Tufts University was created in 1938 to be used for ceremonial purposes in official ceremonies of the university, such as presidential inaugurations and commencements. Maces have been used as a symbol of authority since medieval times. The mace was first used at the inauguration of President Leonard Carmichael on Nov. 4, 1938.

The Tufts mace was designed and created by Gorham Co. in New York. Constructed of rosewood and polished brass, it includes the official seal of the university as the finial, an unusual feature in a university mace. The mace was presented to Tufts as a gift of the Tufts Alumni Council and cost $125.

President Leonard Carmichael, right, with the university mace at his inauguration in 1938 in a photograph by Melville S. Munro. The man at left is unidentified. Photo courtesy of University Archives

EditorÕs Note: As the university celebrates its sesquicentennial in 2001-2002, the Journal will take a look back at some of the history and traditions of Tufts. Thanks to Anne Sauer in University Archives for providing these glimpses into TuftsÕ past.