Roanoke's mace was presented to the College in 1996 by the four daughters of Hartselle DeBurney Kinsey '21. The mace is dedicated to Mr. Kinsey, who was devoted to Roanoke College as a student, teacher, advocate and trustee.
Maces date back to the Middle Ages when they were used as weapons. Today, they are primarily symbols of academic authority used at formal convocations and commencement ceremonies.
Roanoke College's mace was designed by Susannah Wagner, a British-trained goldsmith and jeweler in Ashland, Virginia. Also involved in its making were an engraver, stonecutter, glassblower and wood crafter. The mace features a sterling silver headpiece, which is adorned with garnets and engraved symbols representing subjects cherished by Mr. Kinsey, an American walnut baluster (or wooden stem) and a medallion engraved with a replica of the College seal on one side and the symbol of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on the reverse. A maroon hand-blown glass globe honoring the College colors rests inside the sterling silver cage of the headpiece. The cage features architectural elements from Miller Hall and rests on a base that includes a fleur-de-lis pattern found in wrought ironwork around campus.