Dr. Fred Binding, a faculty member in the Department of Psychology for 32 years retired in July 2003. He had served as the university marshal for ten years. Sadly, Dr. Binding died in August 2003. In memory of his contribution to convocation ceremonies, artist Rex Lingwood was commissioned to create a marshal's baton.
In the baton, the artist incorporates a range of visual references that relate to the graduation ceremony, both directly and symbolically. In keeping with the nature of the ceremony, some of the forms are traditionally associated with ceremonial staffs, and the baton's design echoes the elaborate theatricality of the event and the flair brought to the occasion by Dr. Fred Binding. The ends may be read as abstracted figure forms wrapped in the academic gown and hood, with details symbolizing the life stage of the graduates. The Greek alphabet is inset into the internal side surface in the shaft of the baton. This is a reference to the interests of Dr. Fred Binding. It also acknowledges that language is at the core of university education and that the Greek language has particular importance in western culture.
The commission of the baton was made possible with the generous support of the Department of Psychology and Wilfrid Laurier's Univerisity Retirees' Association.