What is the role of the University Marshal?

 

The title of Marshal has its roots in European higher education and was typically given to the individual responsible for organizing Commencement. In this context, the Marshal is defined as the person who directs the ceremonial aspects of a gathering. At Harvard, the tradition of University Marshal goes back to 1896 when Morris Hicky Morgan was appointed as Marshal of the Commencement Exercises. Today the University Marshal reports to the President and serves as chief protocol officer for the University. Among her other duties, the University Marshal often stands in for the President to receive visitors.