Mary Baldwin’s new mace and baton, which debuted at Commencement, are made of native wood by local hands and bear the symbols of the college — a squirrel, an acorn, and oak leaves — and its motto. The Alumnae/i Association gave the mace and baton to the college in honor of Cynthia H. Tyson, who retired in June after a record 18 years as president.
The designs were taken from the Baldwin crest — thought to be derived from Baldwin family ancestors in Ireland and England — and the large stained-glass window hanging in Grafton Library and dedicated a century ago to one of the college’s founders, Mary Julia Baldwin. Both the mace and baton were carved by Robbie Lawson, who performs similar work for Taylor & Boody Organ Builders of Staunton.
Topping the mace is a squirrel, Mary Baldwin’s mascot, evoking industriousness, curiosity, dignity, grace, and liveliness. Capping the baton is an acorn, representing strength. On the mace, oak leaves, painted green, stand for life. Parts of the mace and baton are trimmed in gold leaf, suggesting wisdom and honor. The wood itself, walnut, conveys longevity and hidden wisdom. The mace bears the college motto: Non pro tempore sed aeternitate — Not for time but eternity.
The mace will be carried by the college marshal, Kenneth W. Keller, professor of history. Lundy H. Pentz, associate marshal and associate professor of biology, will carry the baton. When not in use, the mace and baton are displayed, with a new photographic portrait of Tyson given by the Parents Council, in a glass case just inside the main entrance to Grafton Library.
Read Dr. Tyson’s Letter of Appreciation