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For Immediate Release: May 6, 2004
College Creates New Symbol for Anniversary
Farmers Branch, Dallas, TX • Carried proudly for the first time at this year's graduation ceremonies on May 6, the Brookhaven College newly fashioned mace is a symbol of the college’s history and creation. Faculty, staff and students participated in the construction of this unique ceremonial piece in honor of the college’s anniversary.
Traditionally a medieval weapon, the mace has evolved into a ceremonial piece used by churches, colleges and universities to symbolize authority. While researching the design for Brookhaven College’s new mace, Rick Maxwell, professor of sculpture, found examples of maces at universities like Yale and the University of Wyoming, that instead of being commercially made were crafted by the schools.
“I wanted the staff to reflect some of the story of the origin and history of the college,” said Maxwell. The mace design includes elements of the school's history and drew upon the college’s current talent in creating the piece. Maxwell was in charge of the design and production of the mace. The lathe work to turn the wood of the shaft was done by David Reagan, director of the Brookhaven College Police. Maxwell’s design called for the wood base to be carved and so Maxwell chose a student for this task.
“It became a much more personal piece for me to have one of our own students involved in the project,” said Maxwell. The shaft and base of the mace was carved by Marbelia Hernandez, a sculpture and ceramics student at Brookhaven College. Hernandez had been one of Maxwell’s students in a sculpture class and she stood out for her carving ability.
The mace is composed of pewter pieces and mahogany wood. The top of the mace is a stylized windmill. The windmill is the symbol of Brookhaven College, originating with the windmill that had been constructed on the campus, but later had to be removed. The mahogany shaft of the mace is topped with the college seal engraved in pewter that also includes the founding date of the college. Adorned with a series of engraved rings, the shaft features the name of each of the college’s presidents and the dates that they served.
In addition to the rings, the shaft is carved to include elements of the college campus’ history and personality. The carving at the base is designed to represent tree roots. The roots are meant as a symbol of the foundation and support education offers the community. Moreover, the roots are reminiscent of the land the college was built upon and the trees that still cover much of the college’s landscape.
Along the shaft are additional hints of fish and the stream that runs at the back of the campus grounds. There is a story associated with the founding of the college that says the first Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District, Bill J. Priest, used to go out fishing with the gentleman who originally owned the land that now is home to the Brookhaven College campus. The gentleman was not originally interested in selling, but after a few fishing trips he was persuaded to let the District purchase the land for a college. The fish carved into the base are representative of this “fish story.”
Brookhaven College • Dallas County Community College District
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Page modified June 3, 2004