The Simpson Mace is a symbol of academic authority at Randolph-Macon College. Dr.
W. Schuyler Miller carried it for the first time on September 16, 1988, as the faculty
processed to the fall convocation and dedication ceremony for the McGraw-Page Library.
Dr. and Mrs. Grellet C. Simpson presented the mace in honor of Dr. Thomas McNider
Simpson, Jr., Class of 1901, a Randolph-Macon professor of mathematics and dean
of the faculty, and the sixteen members of the Simpson family who attended the college
between 1894 and 1984. Grellet Simpson, a member of the Randolph- Macon College
Class of 1930, was a professor of English and dean of the faculty at his alma mater.
Susannah Wagner, a registered British silversmith of Ashland, Virginia, created
the Presidential Medallion in 1998 using a silver representation of the college’s
seal created by the Franklin Mint. The chain and frame around the seal are silver;
the oak and maple leaf insets within the chain are gold. The medallion, which symbolizes
the office of the president, was a gift to the college from Mr. and Mrs. John B.
Werner of Richmond, Virginia.
Mr. Werner is a member of the Randolph-Macon Class of 1953.
The official college seal depicts Randolph-Macon’s first building, a four-story
brick structure built in 1832, which still stands today on the school’s original
campus in Boydton, Virginia. Encircling this image are the words Sigillum Collegi
Randolph-Maconensis in Virginia—“Seal of Randolph-Macon College in Virginia.”
The seal appears on all Randolph-Macon College diplomas and other official documents
of the college.
The Academic Dress
Modern American academic dress follows a custom that preserves many of the features
that originated in the Middle Ages, when cap, gown, tunic and hood were ordinary
clothing for men of all ranks, inside and outside the universities. The people of
the Middle Ages associated particular styles of gowns and hoods with scholars of
varying degrees of prestige.
President Lindgren’s black woolen gown with purple velvet chevrons and panels is
the juris doctor gown of the University of Florida.
The velvet bindings seen in various colors on the hoods worn in Randolph-Macon’s
academic procession indicate the following degrees: