ARLINGTON - The University of Texas at Arlington will inaugurate a distinctly “maverick” mace at MavsMeet, the upcoming new student convocation.
In medieval times, a mace was a heavy club used as a weapon in battle and at jousting matches. The mace evolved into a symbol of protection of the monarch and a general ceremonial staff of office. Oxford University began using a mace for ceremonial occasions in the late sixteenth century and Cambridge University adopted a mace in 1626.
But although maces are now a traditional element in academic processions, UT Arlington’s new mace, designed and created by Texas State Artist and Professor David Keens, with the assistance of Metal Art Adjunct Professor Fred Miller, is distinctly non-traditional.
The new mace is an undulating, artistic design of metal and glass that reflects the traditional symbols of academia in a dynamic and contemporary way. Almost completely made of clear glass, it is only upon closer observation can you see the University’s colors in glass below the round, etched-metal University seal. Surrounding the seal is a contemporary wreath design in transparent glass symbolizing the pursuit of higher education.
Below the seal, wreath and colored glass is a forged metal contemporary nest. Below the nest is a transition into the past with etched transparent glass depictions of the school’s past names: in effect, an ethereal space of time past, Keens said. All of these sections rest on a long, swirled-glass, undulating tendril, reflecting the linear flow of time. It is a tangible image of history, prestige, formality, creativity, innovation and the uniqueness of UT Arlington.
MavsMeet is at 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, in Texas Hall, 701 W. Nedderman Drive. It is open to the public on a space-available basis.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.