Commencement Marshals

Description and Criteria

Each year, eight graduating students from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) are selected to represent the graduating class as Commencement Marshals. On the morning of Commencement, these students help the GSAS deans organize the procession from the GSAS Breakfast to Harvard Yard. They walk at the head the procession, proudly carrying the banners of GSAS, SEAS, and Dudley House, and lead the graduating class into Tercentenary Theatre. It is a wonderful tradition and considered an honor to be chosen as Commencement Marshal.

Marshals are chosen by a committee of fellow graduate students on the basis of their accomplishments during graduate school, specifically their service on behalf of the graduate school and graduate student community. As of this year, nominations are open to the entire GSAS community, and can be initiated by GSAS students, the department administrator of the nominee, or Harvard faculty. Other factors are taken into account, but this is primarily an opportunity to honor those activities and services not directly related to obtaining a degree.

Commencement Marshal Nominations due: March 29, 2019 at 5PM


In order for the selection committee to make its selections, please upload the following:

  • The nominee's curriculum vitae
  • A letter of nomination (from a Harvard Faculty, GSAS student, Director of Graduate Studies, administrator, etc)
  • Additional letters of recommendation (optional)
  • High resolution photo of the nominee (for publication in the May 2018 GSAS Bulletin, if selected)

All above materials can be uploaded electronically. (Please save all files as PDFs)