The Grand Mace, a symbol of authority and leadership, is carried by the Chief Marshal of the faculty at all formal university occasions and is displayed on the platform during these functions.
The mace is made from a limb that fell from the Old Beech Tree in front of Old Main on the university campus.
The top of the mace consists of a gold-plated bronze casting that features on one side the Seal of Marshall University and on the other the Great Seal of the State of West Virginia. These are surrounded by a laurel of beech leaves and the entire casting is crested by a torch symbolic of academic excellence.
Immediately below the top casting is a four-sided section that contains carved symbols significant in the history of the university-The towers of Old Main, Memorial Fountain, the Seal of Marshall College and a buffalo, official mascot of the institution’s athletic teams. The area immediately surrounding the four carvings features small clusters of beech nuts and leaves.
The center portion of the mace is carved in double wrap ribbon, one-half inch wide. Between the gaps in the ribbon wraps are carved beech leaves descending in size.
The base of the mace is protected by a gold-plated bronze casting of beech leaf clusters.
The entire mace weighs about 25 pounds and is 66 inches from the top of the torch to the base.
The Grand Mace was created in 1986 by Byron Johnson. An honor graduate of Marshall University, Johnson is a renowned wood carver and sculptor as well as an art teacher in the public schools.