Presidential Medallion, Mace and Seal
A symbol of the Office of the President of Virginia Wesleyan University, the medallion was commissioned upon Virginia Wesleyan's transition from College to University status in 2017. It incorporates features from the original University seal and hangs on a cloth ribbon in VWU blue.
The original sterling silver and blue enamel medallion (1993-2017) utilizes the main design element of the official University seal, surrounded by four posts representing the campus landmark, the Frank E. Brown Campanile, or bell tower, and four academic villages.
A mace, once designed for use as a tool of medieval warfare, has served in recent centuries as a symbol of authority and vitality by legislative bodies and institutions of higher education. In the latter context it becomes a ceremonial staff, bearing engraved images and words which represent distinguishing characteristics of the institution.
The Virginia Wesleyan mace was created by goldsmith Suzannah Wagner of Ashland, Virginia, in consultation with a campus committee including the College marshal, the late Dr. William M. Jones. The cherry wood for the mace was harvested in southeastern Virginia in the 1930s and the base of the shaft contains grains of earth preserved from the original campus groundbreaking ceremony on July 18, 1965. Latin inscriptions on crystal panels evoke mind, body, spirit and community. Additional engravings on crystal and silver reflect agricultural, maritime and other regional symbols; the United Methodist cross and flame; and scenes of the campus.
The mace is carried in academic processions and at other times is displayed on the campus accompanied by a narrative describing the symbols which it bears.
In 1964, the Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees adopted the original seal to reflect the College's United Methodist heritage. The official seal was displayed on the first diplomas and was used for all subsequent commencement materials and other documents until May 31, 2017, when an updated version was implemented reflecting the transition from College to University status. The seal is an embellished circle, with the University's name and date of charter, featuring a cross and the initials of Virginia Wesleyan entwined in a diamond.