What’s the deal with… the University Mace?

When one hears the word mace, a thumb-sized black bottle filled with a dangerous solvent may be the first thing to come to mind.

What you probably don’t know is that it is also the name of a special ceremonial scepter carried by persons of importance at significant, formal University events.

University Marshal Jill Kasle bears The George Washington University Mace at the most prestigious of the school’s ceremonies. Kasle and the mace make a regal pair at all GW events that requires attendees to wear academic regalia such as Freshman Convocation and Commencement.

GW’s shiny mace is hollow and made of stainless steel and was designed and crafted by a GW art professor. Kasle has been carrying the original mace for 18 years, and it’s been around even longer than that, she said.

Kasle also pointed out that every university in the country has its own unique mace and its own marshal who carries it. Each one is original and representative of its respective university.

The profile of our university’s namesake, George Washington, is carved on the four top panels of our mace, Kasle said.

But while George Washington is a legend and all, what would make GW’s mace stand out would be the addition of dancing hippos carved around the polished metal handle – just an idea.

“What’s the deal with…” is a weekly feature in the Life section. If you have a suggestion for the column, e-mail features@gwhatchet.com.

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