Faculty Roles at Commencement

Faculty members play key roles at Commencement—from the grand marshal, who leads the platform party and officially begins the ceremony, to the research chairs who hood their doctoral students, to the faculty members in the audience cheering for the graduates. See below the various ways that faculty participates at commencement.

Grand Marshal

The grand marshal is a faculty member who fulfills specific ceremonial duties that include leading the platform party to and from the stage and bearing the IU maces. The grand marshal is appointed by a campuswide Commencement committee and serves a term that lasts for multiple years.

Head Marshals

The head marshals are faculty members from a number of programs at IU Bloomington who assist in ceremonial duties related to the platform party. They, too, are appointed by the campuswide Commencement committee and serve terms that last for multiple years.

Faculty Marshals

The faculty marshals assist in the procession and seating of the graduates and other faculty members. They may also be called upon to help with the hooding of doctoral students, among other ceremonial duties. Early in the spring semester, each school’s dean’s office asks for faculty members to volunteer to serve as marshals. If you haven’t received an invitation and are interested in being a faculty marshal at Commencement, please communicate directly with your dean’s office.

Doctoral Research Chairs

At the Graduate Commencement ceremony, doctoral students are hooded by the chairs of their dissertation committees or by other faculty mentors who have overseen their doctoral studies. These faculty members meet up with their students before the ceremony, accompany them in the procession, and hood them in front of the stage after the students’ names are announced. If you are unable to attend Commencement to hood your student, a faculty marshal who is present will be asked to do the honors.

Additional Faculty Participants

All IU Bloomington faculty members are cordially invited to attend Commencement, and you can expect to be busy, helping to ensure that the proceedings are both orderly and festive. In addition to those faculty members who are hooding students at the Graduate Commencement, the Commencement team is always in need of the help of faculty members who can lend a hand at both Graduate and Undergraduate Commencement.

Questions? Get in Touch With Our Commencement Team for Help.

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