Links and FAQs

A collection of external resources and Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is the University’s guideline for gifts and celebratory events for employees and nonemployees?

A: We have provided the following link to direct you with a break down from Employee Gift Policy Special rules apply to gifts for donors, heads of state, dignitaries and other high-profile visitors. Gifts to donors are subject to complex rules and may require additional review by your finance team.

Q: What is the threshold for employee gifts?

A: Harvard departments may make modest gifts purchases for current Harvard employees up to $100.

Q: Do you customize gifts?

A: Our selection of gifts kept in stock are engraved with the Harvard Veritas shield. Most gifts can be easily customized with any logo and text, for an additional fee, with a turnaround time of about 7 business days.



Q: What is the protocol for Harvard University when invited to special ceremonies at institutions of higher education around the globe?

A: The University Marshal’s Office handles the process of selecting delegates to attend these events on behalf of the President’s Office. Often, those who have been asked to represent Harvard have a meaningful affiliation with the inviting institution. Delegates participate in various activities, including marching in the academic procession wearing regalia. Since those institutions participating in the academic procession are typically arranged by founding date, the Harvard delegate often leads the procession. Our office will also send a special greeting to the celebrating institution on behalf of the President and Fellows of Harvard.


Q: I have been invited to an inauguration and would like to represent Harvard.

A: Our protocol is to designate a Harvard representative to attend events Harvard’s President is invited to when the President cannot attend himself. If we have not yet received Harvard’s invitation to the event, our office will first verify those details with the institution. We will then ask if they would like Harvard to send a representative. Unless there is a compelling reason to consider sending a different representative, we will then be back in touch with you to confirm your participation.


Q: As a delegate representing Harvard University, what should I wear?

A: Typically people representing Harvard at other institutions’ celebrations will wear the Crimson doctoral robe and a velvet tam. Their hood should correspond to the institution from which they, the delegate, received their highest degree. If you do not already have your own regalia, our office will rent the appropriate robe, hood and tam from a local vendor for you.


Q: What costs are covered for the delegates to attend these ceremonies?

A: We regularly make arrangements through a local vendor to outfit our delegates in the appropriate academic regalia. Typically the items are rentals and ask the delegate to return the items in a pre-addressed label back to the vendor within a week after the occasion. Harvard is not able to cover any travel costs for delegates, unfortunately. We will often select a local delegate of the celebrating institution to attend the event for this reason.




Links to External Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is your office?


The University Marshal's Office is located in Wadsworth House on the edge of Harvard Yard.  Please view the About Us page for contact information and a brief history of the second-oldest building on the College campus.


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.


How do I arrange for a tour of Harvard?


Tour groups, families on college tours, and vacationing visitors to the greater Boston area should contact the Harvard University Visitor Center or the Harvard College Admissions Office for more information about group tours.

If you or an official, non-profit delegation you represent is interested in making arrangements for a substantive visit to Harvard University, your first contact should be the Marshal’s Office. Please visit the Services page of our website for more detailed information about the International Visitors Program.