Last week, Renison's president, Dr. Wendy L. Fletcher, was selected to serve as the macebearer for the Arts convocation at the University of Waterloo. This is a role steeped in history and full of symbolism.
A university's mace is a symbol of the Chancellor's authority at the university to grant degrees, among other things.
At this convocation, Renison students were awarded their Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work degrees. Dr. Fletcher was selected as a representative of the faculty involved in the education of these new alumni of the University of Waterloo and Renison University College.
Description of the University of Waterloo mace
The symbolic theme may be described as follows: The fundamental concept is unity amid diversity and tension in the creative intellectual process that strives to bring forth a new individual. The design of the mace interprets this theme in the idiom of the life process: from the seeds at the base of the stave the mace grows in unity and strength until it differentiates by a four-fold separation into diverse elements.
The four-fold diversity is significant because of the four Faculties existing at the time the mace was presented to the University and as well, of the four church-related colleges federated and affiliated with the University. These diverse elements together form a crown, and the points of the crown, while tending toward a union do not quite touch but remain as individuals suspended in tension and yet engaged in a deep harmony. This creative process is focused not on the traditional spherical orb of static perfection but rather on an elliptical silver ovum - the egg-shaped symbol of creativity - the marvellous potential of a new individual life.
On one side of the ebony ring is the coat of arms of the University of Waterloo and on the other is the coat of arms of the Province of Ontario.