Each year, the GSAS Student Council (GSC) chooses its Commencement marshals to represent the School’s graduating class. Marshal nominations are made by members of the GSAS community, including students, the nominee’s graduate program administrator, or Harvard faculty. To be selected a GSAS marshal is considered an honor for a graduating student and is one of Harvard’s most well-loved Commencement traditions.
Traditionally, on the morning of Commencement, marshals help the School’s deans organize the procession from the GSAS breakfast gathering to Harvard Yard. Walking at the head of the procession, they proudly hoist the School gonfalon as they lead the graduating class into Tercentenary Theatre.
In acknowledgment of the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing restrictions and public health guidance, President Larry Bacow announced that Harvard's 370th Commencement would be postponed until a later date and a virtual ceremony recognizing graduates would be held on May 27, 2021. On that date, the marshals will join Dean Emma Dench at the GSAS Graduation Recognition Ceremony for a virtual celebration.
The 2021 Commencement marshals representing the doctor of philosophy are:
- Nicole Black, PhD, Engineering Sciences
- Lindsey Brown, PhD, Applied Mathematics
- Zachary Hayworth, PhD, Germanic Languages and Literatures
- Janani Iyer, PhD, Medical Sciences
- John Lian, PhD, Medical Sciences
- Yi Lu, PhD, History
- Lumumba Seegars, PhD, Organizational Behavior
The 2021 Commencement marshal representing graduates with a master of arts, master of science, and master of engineering is:
- Elizabeth Tarbell, AM, Regional Studies–East Asia