2nd January 2001
University administrator Joanne Platts will make history later this month when she acts as mace bearer at the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside’s postgraduate awards ceremony at Hull City Hall
Joanne (31) will be the first woman to perform the duty for the university – and she is thought to be one of only a handful of women across the country who have ever done the job.
Her call to arms came when the university realised that its regular mace bearer, Peter Walker, would be holidaying in Barbados when the awards ceremony takes place on 19th January.
“Because I keep Peter’s diary I notified the Vice Chancellor’s office that the mace bearer would be unavailable on that day,” said Joanne, a transport administrator who lives on Ings Road, East Hull.
“They said they couldn’t think of anyone else who could do the job, and because I’ve been an usher at graduation ceremonies for the past nine years they said I was perfect for the role!”
Around 500 students are eligible to collect undergraduate or postgraduate awards at the ceremony, which begins at Hull City Hall at 11.30am on Friday 19th January.
The role of the mace bearer is to lead the university procession into and out of City Hall, carrying the university’s ceremonial mace.
The mace is almost a metre long, weighs five kilos and is made mostly of rosewood and silver. Other materials in its construction are symbolic of the university’s roots – a lodestone on the head of the mace to represent the university’s maritime links, for example, and a design featuring five pieces of titanium to celebrate the institution’s connections with the aerospace industry.
“I’m confident that I’ll know what to do on the day,” said Joanne. “I’ve watched Peter do it enough times! But when he comes back from his holiday he can keep the job – I can’t take it away from him when his back’s turned, can I?”
For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager
University of Lincolnshire & Humberside (tel: 01522 886042)
Search the university’s news archive at http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/news