UNCG Campus Weekly

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Bringing muscle to the ceremony, DiAnne Borders carries the mace

050416Feature_DiAnneBordersPerhaps no one bears the weight of a commencement ceremony like the Faculty Marshal.

Dr. L. DiAnne Borders, who began her five-year term in the Fall 2014 semester, will carry the mace on May 6. Elected to five-year terms, the Faculty Marshal carries the UNCG Mace at formal events.

Hand-chased in sterling silver, the UNCG Mace is a ceremonial insignia of the university. The UNCG Mace bears motifs depicting the history of this campus: daisies, the official university flower; pine cones (UNCG’s yearbook was titled “Pine Needles”); and a depiction of Minerva. The Class of 1926 presented the UNCG Mace to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of its graduation and the Bicentennial of the nation, notes UNCG Archives.

“In preparation for the first commencement ceremony, I increased my bicep curls and practiced at the gym with a weight about the same size and shape but that is heavier than the mace,” said Borders. “I also got pointers on how to hold it.”

Although she is not UNCG’s first female Faculty Marshal, she said, she is the first female to carry the mace.

“I was told I could ask a faculty friend to carry the mace and march with me,” said Borders. “But my Spartan feminist pride would not allow that. I carry it without any harness, although that was suggested to me also.”

Since 1987 Borders has researched clinical supervision at UNCG, focusing on the educational process of facilitating counselors’ effective application of their knowledge and skills in their work with clients. The UNCG Counseling and Educational Development program, part of the School of Education, is rated second best in the nation by US News & World Report.

She holds an undergraduate degree in English education from UNCG.

“I do hope the mace and the procession add to the significance, dignity and honor of the occasion for the parents, families and friends there, and the pride they feel for their graduate,” said Borders. “I think about that as I march in and look into the stands where my parents once sat.”

By Daniel Wirtheim

Note: Commencement will be livestreamed at https://reg.uncg.edu/commencement-central/video/.