Student Stories

Student Marshals Celebrate Convocation

For third year Frances Enger Convocation was especially significant this year – and she didn't even graduate. Enger is a Student Marshal, one of the highest awards given by the University of Chicago to undergraduate students.

“Being a Student Marshal means being able to help the fourth years, who include many of my friends and mentors, have the best graduation possible,” Frances Enger said. “ I'm excited to be part of a long tradition of third-year students helping those above them graduate UChicago and go on to to great things.”

Student Marshals are third-year students appointed by the President of the University on the basis of their academic performance and their involvement in and contribution to the campus community. The selection committee includes the Dean of Students of the College and the University Marshal, a faculty member.

“The commitment to join outstanding academic work with energetic contributions to our campus and community is one of the oldest ideals of the College. Our Student Marshals are very impressive by their own records, and they also carry on an important piece of the University’s identity,” Dean of the College, John W. Boyer said.

Student Marshals help direct and manage Convocation. While sometimes confused with graduating fourth years, they wear maroon robes and mortarboards to indicate their role.

The office of the Marshal of the University was created in 1895, and originally the Marshal was an undergraduate upperclassmen, who assisted with the conduct of official ceremonies along with other undergraduate students and faculty. In 1903, the Marshal of the University became a member of the faculty, assisted by other faculty members and an honor guard of students, now known as Student Marshals.

The 48 student Marshals in the Class of 2018 represent a wide variety of academic and extracurricular interests. From running UChicago’s Amnesty International Chapter to working as teaching assistants in the Biology department to, from singing in campus choirs to working in the Office of Civic Engagement, these students represent the range and variety of talents and passions of the campus community.

The  appointment was a welcome surprise to many students.

“I feel very humbled to have been recognized by the College,” Jeremy Chang, a Biology major,  said. “I have always been thankful for the opportunities that the University of Chicago has provided for me, so I was quite surprised when the University wanted to recognize the contributions I have made towards the University.”