Grand Marshal (RPI)

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The Grand Marshal, or GM, is the highest elected student leader of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The position has been in existence since shortly after the American Civil War.

Article V, Section II of the Rensselaer Union Constitution, defines the position Grand Marshal and establishes his position as the presiding officer of the Student Senate and an ex officio member of all committees and role as the leader and the chief spokesperson for the entire Union.

Powers and duties[edit]

The Grand Marshal is a normally a nonvoting member of the Student Senate. However, in the event of a tie, the Grand Marshal may cast one vote. The Grand Marshal has the power to appoint student representatives. However, any appointments made may be nullified by a majority vote of the entire Student Senate membership.[1]

History[edit]

The position of Grand Marshal was created in 1866 to honor a student respected and admired by his classmates.[2] Major Albert Metcalf Harper of Delta Phi was elected and presented a ceremonial sword, as was fitting for a Major during the Civil War. His function was to head and represent the entire student body on all occasions in all relations, thereby giving it a formal unity. Except for a few years during the 1890s, Grand Marshals were elected each year, usually in the spring, and this provided, as it were, the culminating event of the student calendar with celebrations of the Grand Marshal's election and installation.

The election customs were well established by 1882, when Independence Grove, a strangely named junior, of Chi Phi, was elected Grand Marshal. In 1883 occurred a characteristic Grand Marshal's election night on May 26. William A. Aycrigg was chosen without opposition in Harmony Hall, used for many years for the purpose, and the retiring marshal was presented with a suitably inscribed gold-headed cane. The students then filed into the streets and, headed by Doring's Band, paraded through the city, with Greek fire displays and houses illuminated. They stopped at Boughton's hat store, where the new marshal was presented with a high silk hat, still used symbolically as the headgear of the office.

A common practice of the student parade was to serenade the students of the Emma Willard School, located in downtown, as well as some of the professors and school dignitaries at their homes, and they generally responded with speeches of acknowledgment. At about eleven at night the parade returned to Harmony Hall for food, drink and dancing. Until the wee hours of the morning, the press reported, the shouts and plaudits could be heard for blocks on the still night air. In 1883 the total expenses of the election were $212.50, raised by class assessments, and they included $28 for the hall and damages to it, $127 for the music, and $12 for the services of the 8 policemen at the hall.[3]

GM Week celebrations[edit]

Today, a special committee plans the "GM week" events, which occur in the last week of March. The week kicks off with events in the Armory; in the past these have included twister, miniature golf, rock climbing, a pie eating contests, and laser tag.[4] Then there are dozens of events each day of the week, hosted by various clubs and fraternities. Events usually include battle of the bands style concerts, tennis and volleyball tournaments, fireworks, and engineering contests such as an egg drop competition from the top of the JEC. At the end of the week, the final induction ceremony is often held in the Houston Field House.

Grand Marshals[edit]

There have been 149 Grand Marshals in the history of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Kyle Keraga '15 has been elected Grand Marshal for the year of 2014-2015.

Years of Service Grand Marshal Graduation Year
1865-66 Albert M. Harper 1867
1866-67 Frank J. Hearne 1867
1867-68 Virgil G. Bogue 1868
1868-69 John Pierpoint 1869
1869-70 Thomas O. Morris 1870
1870-71 George C. MacGregor 1871
1871-72 David Reeves 1872
1872-73 Daniel A. Tompkins 1873
1873-74 James N. Caldwell, Jr. 1874
1874-75 William L. Fox 1875
1875-76 Morris S. Verner 1876
1876-77 Coddington Billings, Jr. 1877
1877-78 George S. Davison 1878
1878-79 Robert R. Bridgers 1879
1879-80 Frederick S. Young 1880
1880-81 Thomas D. Whistler 1881
1881-82 Independence Grove 1882
1882-83 Robert J. Pratt 1883
1883-84 William A. Aycrigg 1884
1884-85 Leverett S. Miller 1885
1885-86 James E. Larrowe 1886
1886 Edward B. Ashby 1886
1886-87 Halsey B. Pomeroy 1887
1887-88 James M. Africa 1888
1888-89 Paul O. Herbert 1889
1889-90 William Easby, Jr. 1890
1894-95 Athol M. Miller 1895
1895-96 Henry B. Voorhees 1896
1896-97 Charles J. McDonough 1897
1897-98 Thomas R. Lawson 1898
1898-99 Gustave A. Keller 1899
1899-1900 Parley L. Williams, Jr. 1900
1900-01 James W. Davis 1901
1901-02 William H. Young 1902
1902-03 Edward W. Banker 1903
1903-04 Homer G. Whitmore 1904
1904-05 Cuyler W. Lush 1905
1905-06 William S. Lozier 1906
1906-07 Herman S. Chalfant 1907
1907-08 Horace W. Rinearson 1908
1908-09 Robert A. Searle 1909
1909-10 Carl W. Schedler, Jr. 1910
1910-11 James T. Ganson 1911
1911-12 Frank B. Watkins 1912
1912-13 Edward D. P. Gross 1913
1913-14 Philip C. Rummel, Jr. 1914
1914-15 Glenn W. Tisdale 1915
1915-16 John H. Howard 1916
Years of Service Grand Marshal Graduation Year
1916-17 Walter L. Johnson, Jr. 1917
1917-18 Harry F. Parrott 1918
1918-19 Newell L. Nussbaumer 1919
1919-20 John Van N. Richards 1920
1920-21 John S. Thompson 1920
1921-22 Neal D. Howard 1922
1922-23 Gardner S. Staunton 1923
1923-24 William M. Stilwell, Jr. 1924
1924-25 George V. Robbins 1925
1925-26 H. Fuller Stearns 1926
1926-27 Marvin H. Anderson 1927
1927-28 James M. Robbins 1928
1928-29 Bernard F. Wade 1929
1929-30 Edward P. Kennedy 1930
1930-31 Richard E. Warren 1931
1931-32 Meredith H. Thompson 1932
1932-33 Howard H. Disbrow 1933
1933-34 Carl H. Wunnenberg 1934
1934-35 J. Russell Schwarting 1935
1935-36 Walter F. Powers, Jr. 1936
1936-37 Richard V. Anderson 1937
1937-38 King Ward 1938
1938-39 Eustace P. Hetzel 1939
1939-40 Henry T. Moeckel 1940
1940-41 Frank J. Sherry 1941
1941-42 William L. Hawks 1942
1942 Allen R. Stokke 1943
1942-43 Jack V. Richards 1944
1943-44 William D. Peace 1945
1945-46 Frank P. Waters 1947
1946-47 Richard L. McLaughlin 1948
1947-48 Ronald F. Ball 1949
1948-49 Daymon E. Jordan 1950
1949-50 Gerald S. Ellsworth 1950
1950-51 Gibson W. Smith 1951
1951-52 William F. Payne 1952
1952-53 Geraldo O. Penna 1953
1953-54 Glenn O. Brown 1954
1954-55 Robert W. Fox 1955
1955-56 Larry O. Edwards 1956
1956-57 David R. Murphy 1957
1957-58 James F. Morgan 1958
1958-59 David E. Lord 1959
1959-60 William J. Murdoch, Jr. 1960
1960-61 J. Gregory Crozier 1961
1961-62 Gary B. Garofalo 1962
1962-63 Michael D. Spear 1963
1963-64 Gordon N. McIntosh 1964
Years of Service Grand Marshal Graduation Year
1964-65 Charles H. Harper 1965
1965-66 Dolf H. Beil 1966
1966-67 Kenneth A. Ullman 1967
1967-68 Alan P. Hald 1968
1968-69 Zachary I. Levine 1969
1969-70 W. Scott Staruch 1970
1970-71 Mark P. Rice 1971
1971-72 Thomas J. Engellenner 1972
1972-73 Robert J. Koch 1973
1973-74 Ross B. Gingrich 1973
1974-75 Donald Michael Stull 1976
1975-76 Gordon E. Michaels 1975
1976-77 Ira S. Tackel 1976
1977-78 Mark R. Feinstein 1977
1978-79 John A. Malitoris 1978
1979-80 Paul J. Kowalczyk 1980
1980-81 William P. Duggan 1980
1981-82 Peter Traversy 1983
1982 Jeffry A. Langan 1982
1982-83 James E. LaPosta 1980
1983-84 Mary P. Garrity 1983
1984-85 Richard E. Glassberg 1985
1985-86 John H. Cerveny 1986
1986-87 Catherine Eckart 1985
1987-88 Douglas K. MacKechnie 1987
1988-89 David A. Sovie 1989
1989-90 Eric M. Lambiaso 1990
1990-91 David W. O'Connor 1991
1991-92 Mark N. Fellenz 1991
1992-93 William A. Wheeler 1994
1993-94 Kristen Delvental 1994
1994-95 Sonny Jandial 1995
1995-96 Gregory J. Waters 1997
1996-97 Kristen Trout 1997
1997-98 Mamani Datta 1998
1998-99 Erica Kulesza 1999
1999-2000 Eric Schmidt 2001
2000-01 Joseph Greco 2001
2001-02 Gil Valadez 2002
2002-03 Christopher Mather 2003
2003-04 Michael Borzumate 2004
2004-05 Michael J. Dillon 2005
2005-06 Max Yates 2006
2006-07 Carlos Perea 2007
2007-08 Julia Leusner 2008
2008-09 Kara Chesal 2009
2009-10 Michael Zwack 2011
2010-11 Benjamin Hunt 2011
2011-12 Lee Sharma 2012
2012 Russell Brown 2014
2012-13 Kevin Dai 2014
2013-14 Charles Carletta 2014
2014-15 Kyle Keraga 2015

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rensselaer Union Constitution". Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  2. ^ "Grand Marshal". Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  3. ^ "History". Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  4. ^ Victor Parkinson (2004-03-31). "GM Week 2004: Miniature golf, twister, laser tag fail to inject joie de vivre into opening night". Retrieved 2008-05-16.