Skip to main content

Faculty Marshals

What is a Faculty Marshal?

Faculty Marshal with dean and banner bearerFaculty Marshals are senior faculty members who serve the university as ambassadors and leaders during Commencement.  They help guide the graduates through the Commencement ceremony on their final day at Vanderbilt just as they have guided them these last four years in the classroom.  Faculty Marshals help organize the graduates and all others participating in the Commencement ceremony. Faculty Marshals can be identified by the gold cord worn on their left shoulder.


2019 Faculty Marshal Instructions

FM recep 1On the morning of Commencement, Faculty Marshals will need to report to the volunteer tent behind Neely Auditorium by 8:10 am to check in and pick up their Marshal cords. If Commencement is moved to Memorial Gym due to weather please report to the Auxiliary Gym to pick up your cord. A PDF of the Faculty Marshal instructions and assignments will be uploaded here in the spring. Prior to commencement, Marshals will need to rent regalia through their school or purchase individually. Minimal training is required in late April. 


New University Marshal - Cynthia B. Paschal

Cynthia Paschal Cynthia B. Paschal is the associate dean of the School of Engineering and associate professor of biomedical engineering and of radiology and radiological sciences. She joined the engineering faculty in 1992, drawn by the collegial biomedical engineering faculty and by the strong magnetic resonance imaging research program. After being named associate dean in 2010 she continued to teach. She loves working with students and does whatever she can to help them succeed. She received the Ellen Gregg Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching in 2015.  Not only does she love to help students, she loves helping anyone, including faculty, staff, and guests.  This explains why she has enjoyed serving as a Faculty Marshal for many years. 2003 was the first year that she served as a Faculty Marshal and has participated as a Marshal 11 times. Cynthia is the first woman to assume the role of University Marshal. As the University Marshal, Cynthia will be conducting the movement at Commencement.  She will be working closely with the Commencement office and all other groups involved to help coordinate a beautiful event that all those involved will always remember. 

Key Dates

February 27 - Faculty Marshal Interest Reception FM recep

April 4 - Deadline to confirm participation

April 25 - First meeting to explain specific assignments

May 8 - On-site review of assignments and walkthrough followed by lunch

May 10 - Commencement Day - Marshals are expected to check in at 8:10 am on Alumni Lawn or Memorial Gym in case of rain


Become a Faculty Marshal

If you would like to become a Faculty Marshal for 2019 please contact the Commencement office at to be added to the list.