South Texas College, as a world-class and premier institution of higher learning, values Student Success, Learning, Excellence, Integrity, Community, and Opportunity.
During the 2012-2013 Academic Year and the College's 20th anniversary, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Juan E. Mejia, commissioned the Academic Affairs Council to draft recommendations for an Academic Mace that would be used during the 2013 South Texas College Commencement Ceremonies. The Council selected faculty member Tom Matthews to serve as the artist who would develop the design and drawings.
The Official Academic Mace was ready on May 15, 2013, and was first featured during the May 17, 2013 Commencement Exercises for the Division of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, for the Liberal Arts Ceremony. It was carried in the processional by Dr. Margaretha Bischoff, Dean for the Division. The Academic Mace was then carried in each of the following ceremonies by the respective Academic Deans and in the Social Sciences Ceremony by the President of the Faculty Senate, Mark Murray.
The Academic Mace symbolically represents the foundation of academic excellence by the College and its commitment to serve the students and communities in South Texas. It is 48 inches long, made of cherry wood with brass accents, and has a flame atop representing knowledge, learning, and wisdom. The Academic Mace has four, 3 inch bronze medals, representing the College, Academic Affairs, and the Counties of Hidalgo and Starr. It also has 8 engraved bronze banners exhibiting the revised institutional values, adopted during the 2012-2013 Academic Year, of Excellence, Student Success, Innovation, Opportunity, Community, Professionalism, Collaboration, and Integrity.
The Academic Mace is cradled in a specifically designed stand in the Office of the Chief Academic Officer for the College, and it is uncradled and publicly displayed during the College's Commencement Ceremonies.