LOGAN – Positioned prominently on stage during last week’s investiture ceremony of Utah State University President Elizabeth Cantwell was the newest version of the university mace, a symbol of academic authority and excellence.

USU’s previous mace, made from a white oak banister that survived the Old Main fire of 1983, was in disrepair and no longer reflected the heritage of USU.

Close up of USU's ceremonial mace

USU’s new ceremonial mace is displayed on stage during President Elizabeth Cantwell’s investiture on April 12, 2024. Photo by Levi Sim, Utah State University.

The unusual detailing of the new mace is unique, including the bulls, symbols of industry, plus other emblems. The full 42-inch length of the mace is covered with a 3D-printed single piece of aluminum. S.E. Needham Jewelers then added engraved glass panes, LED lighting and gold plating.

Joseph Needham of S.E. Needham Jewelers consulted with the university for months and provided materials at cost. Ideas for the final design came from Dennis Hassan, USU professor of scene design, who said the goal was to create an heirloom piece that looked like something that originated with the university.

A ceremonial mace is a highly ornamented staff of metal or wood, carried before a sovereign or other high officials in civic ceremonies by a mace bearer, intended to represent the official’s authority. The mace, as used today, derives from the original mace used as a weapon.

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