Wayland celebrates receipt of sketches and notes used to create mace

PLAINVIEW, TX — The ink sketch at the top of the sheet of yellowed notebook paper, as well as the words scribbled at the bottom, have historical significance for Wayland Baptist University.

The notes written between the drawing and the scribble at the bottom are a window into Dr. Harold Reese’s thoughts as he designed the mace that would lead the university’s formal processions for a decade. The sketch is Dr. Reese’s original design for the mace, which was retired in 1991. The words at the bottom — “constituted from original wood” — confirm that the mace was a crafted in 1981 from a plank used in Matador Hall, Wayland’s first building.

Having recently received the historically significant yellowed sheet of notebook paper, along with other pieces that were a part of the design process, Wayland plans to host a formal dedication ceremony at 2 p.m., Tuesday, June 11. The ceremony will take place in the Heritage Room on the second floor of Mabee Learning Resources Center, where the mace has been on display since it was retired from service.

The university received the original sketches and notes from Barbara Burke Powell, who was instrumental in establishing the permanent mace display in the Heritage Room, as well as from the family of Dr. Reese, who passed away on July 4, 2016. Hal Reese, son of the man who designed the mace, and his wife, Lori, are scheduled to be present for the ceremony. Gary Vaughn, Wayland’s Executive Director of Marketing and Communications, is scheduled to be the keynote speaker.

Once a functional weapon in the Middle Ages, the mace now serves as a symbolic representation of authority during ceremonial occasions. The Wayland mace, which is carried, presented and posted by the grand marshal of the assembly, is part of the official university regalia.

Dr. Reese not only designed the mace, but he also guided its creation by Herring’s Custom Cabinets in Plainview. Joining the Wayland faculty in 1966, he served as chairman of the Division of Mathematics and Sciences until stepping down in 1982. He continued to teach. He was inducted in the WBU Hall of Honor in 2001.