Missouri Western revealed the new graduation mace on Wednesday, April 10.
The previous mace was stolen from President Robert Vartabedian’s office in the spring of last year. Even after sending out many emails to the campus community about the situation, the mace has still not been found. The St. Joseph Woodworker Guild and Expressions Engraved, as well as many other local businesses, chipped in and helped make the new one.
Vartabedian spoke at the unveiling ceremony about how it was great to see the St. Joseph community come together and help.
“This will become a very important part of Missouri Western for many, many years to come,” Vartabedian said at the ceremony. “It’s a sign of what a wonderful community we have that would pull together and help us retrieve our beautiful mace.”
Dave Takes is the owner of Expressions Engraved and was excited to step in to the role of helping the university.
“When Dr. Vartabedian came in to my shop and inquired about this, I knew immediately that I wanted to be involved,” Takes said. “Even though I couldn’t make the product in house, I knew enough sources that I knew I could find someone to manufacture it, which was kind of a struggle to find someone that could do that affordably, which really brought me back to having it done locally knowing that we had a lot of woodworking talent in our community.”
Edward Roberts is the president of the St. Joseph Woodworkers Guild and said that this opportunity was one that he was happy to be apart of.
“It was all local talent,” Roberts said. “Like Dave said, it’s local, and I’m really glad he came to us. This is something different. It’s something we’ve never done before, and it just shows that just in this town alone, you have enough qualified people and enough talent to make anything you want.
The ceremony started with Executive Director of the Missouri Western University Foundation Jerry Pickman introducing the people involved and shared the story of the mace. After the unveiling took place, the crowd was invited to look at the mace and group photos took place for the creators.
The mace will be on display at graduation on May 4.