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University Mace

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 Commencement Exercises.

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