[Videos] New Alma Mater, Mace Highlight Traditions at Centennial Commencement

| May 18, 2015

The second weekend in May is occasion for Webster University’s annual commencement ceremony, but for its centennial year the University also marked the occasion by unveiling updates to two timeless traditions as it enters its second century.

For the 96th commencement ceremony in St. Louis on May 9, the new alma mater was performed in full and the new academic mace displayed for the first time.

As part of the centennial celebration and events that run September 2014 through November 2015, Webster University ran a contest to compose and write a new alma mater to represent Webster’s mission in its second century.

The winning alma mater submission, chosen via the contest open to students, staff, faculty and alumni, came from third-year Webster musical composition student Christopher Poetz. His composition, “Webster U. You Are Our Home” had its full debut at the May 9 commencement ceremony, introduced by President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble and performed by the Webster Chamber Singers.

[Watch the alma mater performed at commencement.]

“We congratulate Christopher on his winning composition, which was chosen based on the high quality of the music and composition, as well as lyrics that best reflect Webster’s mission, vision and values in its second century,” Stroble said when the winner was announced.

Commencement 2015 - Faculty

Faculty were led in the commencement processional by Faculty Senate President Gwyneth Williams, professor of political science, who carried the new mace crafted for the centennial year.

The May 9 ceremony at The Muny also offered the public unveiling of the new mace, a ceremonial staff in academia that leads the faculty procession.

Academic mace

The new mace was crafted from mahogany and from tulip poplar wood, taken from the centennial tree which stood on the Webster Groves campus.

The new mace was crafted from mahogany and from tulip poplar wood, taken from the centennial tree which stood on the Webster Groves campus for most of Webster’s first 100 years. The mace features both the seal of Webster University and the Centennial seal. Per commencement tradition, the president of the Faculty Senate, leads faculty into commencement while carrying the mace.

“This mace will endure – and stand before decades of graduates in the second century of Webster University,” said Julian Schuster, provost, senior vice president and chief operating officer.

The centennial year continues with events through November, as this global community of students, faculty, staff and alumni celebrate the successes of Webster’s first century while striving to enact changes that will build upon them to contribute to a history of excellence.

The video above (and shared here on YouTube) captures images of centennial celebration events and activities since September 2014.

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Category: Employee News, Faculty, Webster News

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