June 8, 2018 / Students create a lasting legacy for Vincennes University

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PHOTO 1 - Students in the Product Design and Production Processes program at Vincennes University turned a class project into a lasting legacy for VU by creating a new ceremonial mace. From left, Colton Newton of Winslow, Colton Harrison of Sullivan, Hunter Hirshman of Evansville, Noah Mayer of Evansville, Matthew Perry of Loogootee, Patrick Abrahamson of West Lafayette, Jackson Neeley of Decatur, Layne Jones of Evansville, and Brandon Hembree of Loogootee. Not pictured is Troy Kunkel of Indianapolis. The mace traditionally leads the academic procession at commencement and on other special ceremonial occasions and signifies that the proceedings have official sanction. ###

PHOTO 2 - Vincennes University’s new ceremonial mace, standing to the left of the podium, was created by 10 second-year students in VU’s Product Design and Production Processes program. Pictured is VU President Chuck Johnson, addressing graduates at commencement on the Vincennes Campus on April 28. ###


VINCENNES, Ind. - For many students, the time spent achieving their college degree included making new friends, creating memories, experiencing new cultures, and lots…and lots of studying.

For 10 Vincennes University students, one class project, in particular, not only left them with great memories, but it left the University with a lasting legacy.

Early in the spring 2018 semester, students in the Product Design and Production Processes program were presented with the opportunity to design a new ceremonial mace for the University. The mace - a highly ornamented staff of metal or wood - traditionally leads the academic procession at commencement and on other special ceremonial occasions and signifies that the proceedings have official sanction.

The students were enthusiastic about the idea of creating a piece of VU history. Instructor Cassidy Strange said, “I was excited to see them take on a class project where they could work together on the design, collaborate with different parties involved in the project, and see the physical results of their work displayed during their own commencement ceremony.”

The students spent the first eight weeks of the semester working on the design and 3D CAD models of the mace, and the second eight weeks were spent manufacturing each of the components.

Second-year Product Design student involved in the project included Patrick Abrahamson of West Lafayette (designed the stand), Colton Harrison of Sullivan (designed the assembly method), Brandon Hembree of Loogootee, Hunter Hirshman of Evansville, Layne Jones of Evansville, Troy Kunkel of Indianapolis, Noah Mayer of Evansville, Jackson Neeley of Decatur (designed the head of the mace), Colton Newton of Winslow, and Matthew Perry of Loogootee.

Throughout the project the students experienced real-world aspects of the product design process they would encounter in their future careers, like incorporating outside feedback into their design and discussing manufacturing considerations.

After deciding the basic aesthetics of the mace and modeling the different components that would be assembled into the final product, the students met with Doug Bowman, director of VU’s Haas Technical Education Center, to discuss how their design would affect the manufacturing process. After revising the 3D CAD models based on Bowman’s suggestions, the mace was ready to be machined.

Bowman created each component of the mace in the HTEC, including University seals printed on a Stratasys Objet30 Pro 3D printer in the Product Design program’s own additive manufacturing lab.

For the students, the culmination of the project was seeing the mace take a prominent place on the stage at their own commencement ceremony, held April 28 on the Vincennes campus.


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VICKIE PUFFER, Communications Coordinator & Online Newsroom Manager
812-888-4162 office, 812-887-4635 cell, VUNews@vinu.edu, vpuffer@vinu.edu
VINCENNES UNIVERSITY, Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu/newsroom