CU Boulder’s presidential chain of office and university mace were gifts from Lois Hawthorn (1924) and David Hawthorn (1924) to honor the university’s history and legacy at commencement.

Presidential chain for CU BoulderThe Presidential Chain of Office

In medieval times, high-ranking officials wore elaborate collars that showed loyalty to their monarch and illustrated the link between monarch and subjects. Universities took design inspiration from these collars in creating the modern chain of office. Today, university presidents wear chains of office to signal their position and their commitment to serving the institution.

Mary Sartor (’67) created CU’s presidential chain of office for President Arnold Weber’s inauguration in 1980. Every University of Colorado president since has worn the chain at commencement.

CU's chain has two suspended pendants with different meanings. One pendant depicts the seals of the university and the state of Colorado, and the other holds a large golden topaz representing the human quest for knowledge. The chain is made of minerals and gemstones from Colorado, including gold, silver, diamonds, citrine, topaz and amethyst. 

Marshal Bud Coleman holding up the CU Boulder maceThe University Mace

Maces were originally medieval weapons of war that soldiers carried when protecting important people. Today, maces are purely ceremonial staffs carried at the front of processions during university celebrations. 

Sartor also designed the university mace, which the commencement marshal first carried at Commencement 1984. Commencement marshals have continued to carry the university mace to kick off each ceremony.