The University Mace


The mace, which symbolizes the authority of the University to award degrees, was officially used for the first time at UNB’s 167th Encaenia in May 1996.

A gift of the University’s Chancellor, Fredrik S. Eaton, O.C., the mace was proposed by President Emeritus Colin B. Mackay, O.C., Q.C. It measures 4.5 feet in length and features an antique silver cup atop a butternut shaft.

The George II, two-handled cup was given to the University in 1995 by S. A. H. Bridge, the great-great-grandson of Sir Howard Douglas, Bar’t. It was once part of a collection of fine silverware presented to Sir Howard by the people of New Brunswick when he returned to England, after serving as Lieutenant-Governor (1823-1831).

During his term, Sir Howard took great interest in the institution then known as the College of New Brunswick. He persuaded the British government to grant it a Royal charter, as King’s College, and to provide half the funding for the construction of what is now the oldest university building still in use in Canada.

The cup, hallmarked LONDON 1734, is predated by its cover which bears a 1728 hallmark. The armorial engraving on the upper half of the cup and the crest and motto on the cover are those of Douglas of Kirkness, County Kinross.

UNB’s Chancellor commissioned New Brunswick artisan Michiel Oudemans to design and create the staff for the mace. Crafted from butternut, a wood indigenous to the province, the staff features elements of the UNB coat of arms and symbols of New Brunswick: a book of learning, beavers (in honour of Lord Beaverbrook, the University’s first modern-day Chancellor), a galley, fiddleheads, and Atlantic salmon.

In the academic procession that precedes UNB's graduation ceremonies, the mace is carried by the University Secretary.

At the beginning of each graduation ceremony, before the mace is set on its ceremonial stand by the University Secretary, the President petitions the Chancellor to begin the ceremony:


Amplissime Cancellari,   placetne tibi ut officium incipiat?




Most noble Chancellor, is it your pleasure that the ceremony begins?


It is my pleasure.