As the faculty and staff marched through the SKYPAC auditorium and on to the stage, they were led by senior faculty member, Terrell Murphy who carried an exquisite and dignified wooden mace. A Ceremonial Mace is often used in civic and educational ceremonies throughout the world, but the one carried that night by Terrell Murphy was truly a labor of love for retired SKYCTC faculty, John Moore.
John Moore’s passion for wood working began working with when he was in the 7th grade.
“One of the first things I ever made was a game with pegs, and then I made a footstool in the 8th grade”, said Moore.
John Moore taught wood working in the school system for over 37 years, including here at SKYCTC. To this day, he and still loves making things in his shop at home.
“I have made every bedroom suite in my house, cradles, pepper grinders, and even Christmas ornaments. I really enjoy working with wood.”
For the mace, John Moore collaborated with Mike Greer, Assistant Professor of Engineering Technology here at SKYCTC. They discussed how to blend the wooden elements with ornamental pieces that would be created at the College’s Machine Shop. Greer would go on to machine the ornamental pieces that would boast the SKYCTC logos and emblems. For this project, Moore constructed two proto types: one that was not exactly the right shape and one that was determined to be too large.
According to Moore, working on the mace was a unique project.
“The mace has basically four different faces that needed to be turned and they were more angular than regular turning.”
Not only was the mace crafted locally with loving hands, but even the wood used to construct it was from the area. The walnut that was salvaged from a downed tree in the Browning Community and the maple was collected from Moore’s neighborhood.
The finish product is truly a work of art.
“We are so very proud to have this beautiful Mace to be a part of our traditions as we move forward into next 75 years and we are so thankful to Mr. John Moore for his loving work,” said President Phillip Neal.
The mace will be a part of all future SKYCTC commencement ceremonies.