Olivet College
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175th Anniversary Mace

Ceremonial maces have been used in higher education ceremonies as far back as the 15th century to represent the institution’s leadership and authority. The Olivet College ceremonial mace was commissioned by President Steven M. Corey, Ph.D., in recognition of the 175th commemoration of the college’s founding. Designed and co-created by Professor Gary Wertheimer and alumnus Eric Witzke ’71, the mace is used in the formal celebrations of the college to remind us of our enduring mission: the education of all people for the greater good.

Since its establishment in 1844 as the first college in Michigan to admit women and persons of color on a coequal basis with white men, Olivet College has been a defender of the rights for all people to access and benefit from a quality higher education. With a handle composed of five different woods representing the diversity of humankind, the ceremonial mace is a strong symbol of the college’s continued dedication to an academic culture that celebrates both the wealth of human diversity and the bond of human similarity.

The handle is topped with an octagonal block of white oak, crafted from the original doors of the college’s historic Burrage Library, and inset with the college’s official seal. At the apex is a bronze flame symbolizing the power of higher education to dispel the darkness and enlighten our students with, as our founders wrote, “The means of intellectual, moral and spiritual improvement, and to teach them the divine art and science of doing good to others.” In addition, the end cap crafted in bronze is inscribed with “1844-2019 · 175 Years” and the artisans’ names.

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