The University Mace, carried by a member of the faculty in academic processions, was first carried in 1960 at the inauguration of Andrew Holt as the institution’s 16th president. It was designed and carved by Malcolm Rice, who was then the university architect. It was decorated by Samuel L. Nelson, physical plant general superintendent (carpentry); Mrs. Robert “Peg” Boarts (enamel inserts); Kermit Ewing, professor of art (coloring); and Edward Honeycutt, superintendent of chemical engineering laboratories (chrome plating). The carvings and designs on the head of the mace represent the university’s mission to serve the people of Tennessee. A keystone at the top of the mace represents UT’s position as the capstone institution of higher education in Tennessee. Flame carvings symbolize the torch of learning and service to others. Enamel designs of the iris (Tennessee state flower) that cover the head signify UT’s place as the State University and Land-Grant Institution of Tennessee.
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