College Symbols and Traditions will be on Display during President Weinman’s Inauguration

Anthony Proia, Director of Media Relations

September 23, 2022 – When Marist College President Kevin Weinman is formally installed during his Inauguration on Friday on the Campus Green, there will be several unique items in play that are very much a reflection of the school’s history. These items, most notably, the Marist Mace and Medallion, speak to the very story of Marist College, though that story is a fairly recent one. 

When Dr. Dennis J. Murray became President of Marist College in 1979, the campus was a much different place. While the Marist Brothers had laid a great foundation of a small local College with a stress on excellence in teaching, community and service, there weren’t many entrenched symbols in place that are typical of many institutes of higher learning. With his official Inauguration set to be held in 1980, Dr. Murray hoped to start some new traditions and worked directly to create some of these items.

image of: Dr. Dennis J. Murray with the Marist College Mace at the time of his Inauguration in 1980
Dr. Dennis J. Murray with the Marist College Mace at the time of his Inauguration in 1980

“When I came on board in 1979, Marist was a very small school and there was no College Mace or Presidential Medal,” said Dr. Murray, who is now President Emeritus of Marist College. “I didn’t have a Presidential Robe either, so I wore my Doctoral Robe. What the Marist faculty and administration wanted to do was start some new traditions that could live on at the College.”

image of: Marist College Presidential Medallion
Marist College Presidential Medallion

The Medallion is worn as part of the president’s regalia and is a symbol of college leadership. It features the Marist College seal, with the motto Orare et Laborare, which means To Pray and To Work, and reflects the authority of the office. Ross Mauri, Chair of the Board of Trustees, will carry the medallion during the procession.

“My Presidential medal was presented to me by my father at my Inauguration. He passed soon after, so it holds special meaning for a number of reasons,” said Dr. Murray. “To participate in this ceremony for President Weinman will be an honor.  He is an outstanding leader, and has already shown his deep commitment to Marist and our community.  I am excited to be part of this special day in the history of our College.”

image of: Marist College Mace
Marist College Mace

The Marist College Mace features a three-sided crown emblazoned with the College seal. The crown symbolizes the College’s goals of excellence in education, the importance of community, and dedication to service. The mace symbolizes the College’s governing authority and is present only when the President and Trustees are in attendance. It signifies the proceedings have official sanction. Dr. Nicholas Marshall, Chair of the Faculty, will carry the mace during the procession.

During Friday’s ceremony for President Weinman, there will also an official Changing of the Robe. The new Presidential Robe was designed by faculty members from Marist’s Fashion Design program. It will feature a four-chevron pattern on each sleeve, an honor granted only to one who holds the rank of President or Chancellor of an academic institution. 

You can read more about the symbols featured during the ceremony on the Inauguration website here.


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