The Catholic University of America

Ceremonial Regalia

At the Jan. 25 inauguration of President John Garvey, several distinctive items will be used during the installation ceremony. Below are descriptions and histories of these items.

 
  University Mace
 
  Chain of Office and Presidential Medallion
 
   Presidential Gown

University Mace

The academic mace, or scepter, was used during the early days of universities to lead faculties in official ceremonies. It also served as a reminder for order during classes. The mace being used in President Garvey’s inauguration was the gift of an anonymous donor for the University’s centennial celebration in 1987. It was designed by Spanish silver designer Jose Barata Y Barrera and constructed by the Stieff Company in Baltimore. The mace is constructed of sterling silver with gold ornamentation and American walnut for the staff. The University’s coat of arms appears on the top of the mace. Symbols of the nine schools that existed at the University during the time of the centennial appear around the center. Garvey’s name will be added to those of his predecessors that are already engraved on the bowl of the mace.





 


Chain of Office and Presidential Medallion

The presidential medallion and chain of office, made of pewter, are the manifest symbols of the office Garvey holds. Engraved on the medallion is the University coat of arms, superimposed over the American eagle. The medallion was first worn by Clarence Walton, the University’s first lay president, at his inauguration in 1969. The medallion has been worn by subsequent University presidents and symbolizes the tradition of continuity between them. Garvey wears the medallion for the first time on his inauguration day and will continue to wear it at official academic functions.











Presidential Gown

The academic gown of the President of the University is gold and white, the official colors of The Catholic University of America. The colors mark the founding relationship the University has with the Roman Catholic Church. The hood features the chevron of the University, again in papal gold and white, and a white velvet trim. The presidential seals are affixed to the white velvet panels that hang in the front of the gown. The purple piping around the white velvet on the sleeves, front, and yoke tassel symbolizes the law degree held by the President. Garvey will wear the gown, a gift from CUA’s Alumni Association, at official academic functions.