The University of Windsor, like all North American universities, is a product of medieval Europe. The structure of a university has remained unchanged from its emergence in Paris and Bologna in the late twelfth century. The ceremony of Convocation (the calling-together of an academic assembly) is replete with reflections of this medieval background.
The mace is a staff symbolizing authority. In days of knighthood, it was a weapon, but after the sixteenth century, it became solely a symbol of authority carried by a distinguished member of the assembly or, as in our case, the faculty.
The mace represents continuity and stability in an ever-changing world. The Mace-bearer or Beadle symbolically ensures order. Our Mace-bearer carries the mace in the Convocation procession preceding the Chancellor and the President and Vice-Chancellor.
Smudging involves the burning of substances such as sweet grass, cedar and sage during Indigenous events. This practice is based on traditional beliefs that the smoke produced is a means of purification and to create a positive mindset for those involved in the activities.
The smoke and scent produced during a smudge are minimal and often dissipates quickly.