AUB HOME | MAINGATE HOME | SUBMIT CLASS NOTES | ARCHIVES | SURVEY | CONTACT US
 
 
Inside the Gate
  Presidential Inauguration; Commencement Stats;
Penrose Scholars, Then and Now; SoN gets Magnet; Outdoors goes (far) East; Forward Thinking
Features
Blissed Out
A Tradition of Transition
Speaking Out
The Meaning of West Hall
Scrapbook Memories
 
 
Alumni Profile
Alumni Happenings
Class Notes
AUB Reflections
In Memoriam
MainGate Connections
 
 
Credits
From the President
From the Editors
Letters to the Editors
 
 

Forward Thinking

Last Glance: The AUB Mace

Honorary Doctorate Ceremony 2009

Time Flies

Beirutis Set One Fine Table

Inaugurating the Diya Mutasim Dermatology Library
Incoming:  Welcome to new VP and FM Dean Dr. Mohamed H. Sayegh and FAS Dean Patrick McGreevy.
 

Summer 2009 Vol. VII, No. 4

History and Development of the Mace

In this inaugural year, a team from the Department of Architecture and Design was commissioned to redesign the AUB mace. Although the mace was originally a weapon of defense, it is now most strongly identified with academic processions at formal university occasions. Three metallic rings bearing AUB’s Latin motto and the name of the university in an Arabic script and in English are inlaid in a polished wood shaft crafted from a 7,000-year-old cedar log. The mace head “flame” symbolizes both hope and the light of knowledge; the base is adorned with a replica of a Roman coin bearing the word “Berytus.”

Although the mace was originally a weapon of defense, in modern times it has become most strongly identified with academic processions at formal university occasions, such as the inauguration of presidents and opening ceremonies. To commemorate his inauguration as the 15th president of the American University of Beirut, President Peter F. Dorman commissioned a team from the Department of Architecture and Design to redesign the AUB mace. With advice and guidance from many members of the university community, Associate Professor Zeina Maasri (MGD ’96), Hatem Imam (MGD ’00), and Jana Traboulsi (MGD ’00) designed the new mace that is being used for the first time during the inauguration ceremonies for AUB’s 15th president on May 4, 2009.

The redesigned mace has a polished wooden shaft crafted from a 7,000-year-old cedar log, which has been preserved and is on display on the AUB campus. The ancient wood is inlaid with three metallic rings bearing engraved inscriptions that represent the heritage of academia and the history of Lebanon and the University: AUB’s Latin motto, UT VITAM HABEANT ABUNDANTIUS HABEANT (“that they may have life, and have it abundantly”); the name of the University in an Arabic script derived from a Kufic model; and the name of the University in English. The shaft captures AUB’s essential connection to Lebanon, its deep roots in the local environment, and its rich and diverse community.

The mace head is formed by a flame crafted in metal and enclosed within a metallic ring. The flame is fashioned of modern curvilinear shapes sculpted in thin ribbons to reflect light, symbolizing both hope and the light of knowledge that has guided generations of AUB men and women as they look toward the future. The ring, which holds the flame, symbolizes AUB’s global reach and aspirations – its far-flung alumni and its commitment and contributions to a sustainable and humane world. Serving as a link to university heraldic tradition, the base of the mace is adorned with a replica of a Roman coin bearing the word “Berytus” and a trident enclosing two stars, with a dolphin entwined about its shaft – the symbols that inspired the original university mace as well as the shields of the University’s six faculties.

As President Dorman explains, “the new mace embodies many essential characteristics of AUB in subtle yet beautiful ways, with a strong look back toward the University’s unique heritage in Lebanon. It is at the same time a model of tactile elegance and modernity.”