Our Mission

The University Marshal’s Office supports Harvard’s schools, centers and central administration by serving as Harvard’s most visible and historically appropriate “front door” for visiting dignitaries and delegations. With the goal of making Harvard truly accessible to the world, the Marshal’s Office makes every effort to welcome as many legitimate international visitors as possible. The Office provides the university’s distinguished guests with a warm and thoughtful welcome that helps demystify Harvard for first-time visitors. 

Reporting to the President’s Office, the Marshal’s Office not only hosts and arranges thoughtful itineraries for dignitaries and visiting delegations, but it also provides a number of welcomes throughout the year to members of the extended Harvard community. As the second-oldest building on campus, Wadsworth House is a unique and inviting setting in which the Marshal welcomes new faculty, visiting scholars, and various fellowship participants during their orientations, to give them a broader sense of the university, its history, and its place in the world today. The office also hosts open houses during Freshman and Junior Family weekends at Wadsworth House.  Harvard’s many special visitors enjoy the opportunity to sign the official university guest book and to take photos in the room where George Washington once resided.

In addition, the Marshal’s Office advises the Harvard community on matters of protocol, and vets invitations from departments and student groups to high-profile guests in an effort to avoid overlap or conflicts. The office arranges for Harvard to be represented at special occasions, such as Inaugurations, at other institutions. And, it assists departments with the selection and purchase of appropriate university gifts (many of which are customized) for business meetings and special visitors.

During the months of planning for Commencement, the Marshal’s Office plays an important role in some of the most high-profile aspects of the week, including serving the many dignitaries and special guests who participate in events across the university. In this respect, the Marshal’s Office serves as a vital point of coordination across the schools to successfully execute the University’s most important and most treasured annual celebration.

The Marshal’s Office is, first and foremost, a service operation.  We firmly believe it is important that Harvard provide a human face, and some care and attention, to those who wish to learn from and work with us. And, in these days when international diplomacy seems more important than ever, the office is proud to do its part to help Harvard sustain its institutional and global ties.