History of the University
The University Mace was created at the request of the President
of the University in the early 1960s by Rev. Lawrence Lonergan,
C.M., M.F.A., M.L.S., Chairman of the Fine Arts Department.
The academic mace traces its origins to the heavy,
armor-breaking club knights used in the Middle Ages. In the
less-militaristic climate of today’s Academy, the mace, a symbol of
faculty and students, announces by its presence that those who
follow bear the power of higher learning, which dispels the
darkness of ignorance and oppression more certainly and peaceably
than any weapon of war.
The mace bearer is the Grand Marshal, a faculty member chosen by
the Provost for distinguished service
and accomplishments. The Grand Marshal leads the procession at the
The University Mace measures 39” and weighs 5 lbs. 2 oz.
The symbols on the St. John’s University mace are all based on
the iconography associated with St. John the Baptist, patron Saint
of the University.
- The Dove at the top symbolizes the Holy Spirit. According to
the Gospel narrative, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove
descended on Christ while being baptized by John the Baptist. The
circle around the dove symbolizes a halo indicating holiness.
- The red enamel CHI/RHO design is an emblem of Christ.The wavy
lines surrounding the globe symbolize the waters of the River
Jordon/waters of baptism.
- The silver knop is seven sided. Three sides carry design:
- The University Crest
- The University Seal
- The Seal of the Congregation of the Mission