MFA in Design, University of Kansas
MA in Art Education, Arizona State University
BFA in Jewelry/Silversmithing, University of Kansas

Taught at James Madison University from 1972 to 2000
Taught at Wichita State University from 1969 to 1972

JMU mace and chain of officeThe University Ceremonial Mace, Chain of Office & Medallion created by Ronald Wyancko

Ron Wyancko with JMU maceRonald Wyancko presenting the University Ceremonial Mace

The University Ceremonial Mace

Once a fierce battle weapon, the mace began losing its warlike image eight centuries ago when it started to become a symbol of peaceful leadership. Kings began removing spikes from their maces and encrusting them with jewels and precious metals for ceremonial use. Since then, the mace has been used in ceremonial processionals as an ensign of authority. The James Madison University mace was first used in 1979 on Founders Day (now James Madison Day). It is carried by the marshal of the JMU Faculty Senate during all formal faculty processionals. The faculty marshal precedes the platform party in processionals and recessionals. Funds for the mace were donated by the JMU Class of 1943. Commissioned by the JMU Faculty Senate, the mace was created by Ronald J. Wyancko, retired professor of art and art history. The mace is made of sterling silver, 14 karat gold, rosewood and ebony. It weighs four pounds and stands 37 inches high. The upper node of the mace is textured to symbolize the blue limestone used on the original buildings on campus. The lower node represents the brick used on newer buildings. The JMU crest is at the top of the mace. The butt cap of the mace is inlaid with the name of the university and the date of its founding. There are five ebony designs around the main node of the mace: President James Madison, the State Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a book representing the search for knowledge, the flame of eternal truth and Wilson Hall representing the JMU campus

The University Chain of Office & Medallion

James Madison University’s chain of office and university medallion will be worn by President Jonathan R. Alger during today’s commencement ceremony. The chain of office refers to the authority granted to the president by the JMU Board of Visitors and the Commonwealth of Virginia to confer degrees and lead the university. The medallion is symbolic of the office of president of the university. The chain and medallion were created in 1999 by Ronald J. Wyancko, retired professor of art and art history. He also created the university mace nearly 30 years ago. Creation of the institutional chain and medallion was made possible through a gift from the JMU Parents Council. The chain of office is made of sterling silver and two gems — a golden citrine and a purple amethyst — reflecting JMU’s school colors. The gems are set in the circular sterling silver medallions that are incorporated into the chain. One medallion is textured like bluestone to symbolize the older buildings on JMU’s campus. The other medallion features a brick texture to reflect the university’s newer buildings. The university medallion that hangs from the chain features the seal of James Madison University, the university’s name and the date of its founding, 1908. The design for the JMU seal is based on the coat of arms of the Madison family and contains the words “Knowledge is Liberty,” which are based on quotations from James Madison.

JMU President Alger inauguration receiving chain of office  JMU President Alger wearing chain of office

JMU President Alger inauguration, receiving chain of office

President Emeritus Rose with chain of office
President Emeritus Rose wearing chain of office

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