Convocation to feature new academic mace

Convocation to feature new academic mace

An academic mace, a traditional symbol of authority and integrity carried in formal processions, will be featured for the first time at BBC&S' Convocation on August 23.

The wooden mace is a gift from Dr. Russell Kooy of Jacksonville, OR, a retired surgeon who designed and crafted the mace himself and donated the piece. Dr. Kooy spent about 70 hours making the mace. His wife, Sandra, designed a suede covering for it in the BBC&S colors of blue and gold.

Dr. Kooy's daughter, Coriann Woompath, is part of the academics staff; his son-in-law, Avashkar Woompath, is a BBC student.

The mace will be used in future formal academic ceremonies, such as commencement, said Dr. Jim Lytle, Vice President and Provost at BBC&S.Baptist Bible College & Seminary

A special feature
A mace is among the formal features Dr. Lytle has wanted to add since returning to BBC&S in 2007 after 14 years serving in South Africa.

The connection to Dr. Kooy and his woodworking abilities came through Coriann, who was also serving as a missionary in South Africa and had many pieces of furniture in her home made by her father.

"I knew he did wonderful work and the furniture he made was beautiful," Dr. Lytle said.

Designing and making the mace, which will add to the experience of academic ceremonies, was embraced by Dr. Kooy, who delivered the gift the week before Convocation.

A strong tradition
Maces were medieval weapons that transitioned into symbolic representations of authority. Started in the late Middle Ages, many colleges and universities today possess academic maces embodying rich symbolism relevant to the school. Baptist Bible College & Seminary

The finials at the top and bottom of BBC&S' mace parallel the design of a bishop chess piece. I Timothy 3:1 refers to the pastor as a bishop. The mace proclaims the historical commitment of BBC&S to preparing such leaders.

The spiral design of the shaft represents the DNA held in common by all those created by God. Embedded in the shaft is the school seal, containing the words "Global Christian Leadership" and encapsulating the BBC&S vision statement. It is made from black walnut wood from Brazil, IN.

The globe at the top represents the world and BBC&S' mission to reach the world for Christ. Mounted inside is a basswood cross crafted from the wood of a pipe organ built in 1914. In the center, the cross reminds that Christ is the center of the Christian's world and the centerpiece of education at BBC&S. The mace is designed so that the cross is fully visible on each side.

Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers an outstanding Christian education through on-campus, online, and other distance learning options. Students go beyond the ordinary, learning to learn and serve with excellence as they gain critical leadership and life skills.

To learn more, go to or call 570.586.2400.

Posted on: 8/18/2010 9:30:36 AM

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