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Emeritus Professor Rita S. Patteson Honored as Mace-Bearer for Baylor Graduation Ceremony

May 16, 2019

Rita PattesonAssociate Professor Emeritus and former Armstrong Browning Library Director Rita S. Patteson has been chosen as mace-bearer for the Baylor graduation ceremony on Friday afternoon, May 17.

Patteson formally retired on Sept. 1, 2016, after fifty years of service to Baylor, but continues to work a few hours each week processing materials for the Armstrong Browning Library. Every year a distinguished emeritus professor is invited to carry the mace and lead the graduation procession as a symbol of Baylor's rich history.

"I am very grateful to be selected for this honor," said Patteson. "I am pleased to be able to represent the Libraries at the Friday afternoon commencement."

The mace was adopted by the Baylor Board of Trustees in March 1974 as a symbol of the authority of the university. Baylor's mace is comprised of a gold-hilted sword presented by President Andrew Jackson to the brother of Judge R.E.B. Baylor, two gold-headed walking canes that belonged to Baylor President Rufus C. Burleson and General Sam Houston, and the official university seal milled from a timber taken from a roof beam from the Old Main building on the Waco campus.

Patteson and her fellow mace-bearers, Dr. Naymond Keathley and Dr. Jon M. Englehardt, will be honored on Thursday, May 16, at a luncheon. Baylor plans to graduate about 2,900 students during its three commencement ceremonies on Friday and Saturday.