March 26, 2001 Vol. V, No. 13

Symbols of the Presidential Inauguration

The Presidential Medallion
The Presidential Medallion symbolizes the authority of the Office of the President of the University and is conferred on the President by the Chancellor, who invests her with the authority and responsibilities of the office. It is worn on official occasions with academic regalia.

The Presidential Medallion of California State University, Northridge was designed by former professor David Elder of the Department of Art 3-D. The medallion reproduces the University's seal. It was cast in brass at the university's Fine Arts Foundry in 1970 and has been used in all university ceremonial occasions since that time.

The University Mace
The mace of California State University, Northridge was commissioned by the Bibliographic Society of CSUN and was presented to the university on the occasion of its 25th anniversary in 1983.

Consisting of a four-foot silver staff with a soaring bird atop to symbolize academic freedom, the mace weighs 12 pounds. It was conceived and designed by Norman Tanis, the then director of university libraries, with the assistance of Charlotte Oyer and Burt Hultman of the library staff, and Jeffrey Roter, a CSUN alumnus, who crafted the mace.

The University Mace is the ceremonial symbol of the authority of the university and, as such, transcends the tenure of individuals and signifies the ongoing life of the institution.

The mace derives from the Middle Ages, when it was a heavy, frequently spiked club used chiefly by knights to crush the armor of opponents. Royal bodyguards often carried maces to protect their monarchs in processions. By the 15th century, maces had become more ceremonial in use and often were decorated with jewels and precious metals, thus losing their war-club appearance.

@csun | March 26, 2001 issue
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