University Marshals

The University Marshal

The University Marshal is the University’s chief ceremonial officer, and is responsible for directing the formal aspects of important university events and representing the faculty at Convocation. The Marshal also oversees the appointment and work of the Assistant Marshals and the Student Marshals. The University Marshal is appointed by the President, on the recommendation of the Secretary of the University, for a term of three years.

History of the Marshal at the University of Chicago

The role of the University Marshal was first established in 1896 when Joseph E. Raycroft, a lecturer in the University’s Department of Hygiene, was appointed as Marshal of the Congregation by President William Rainey Harper and the Congregation of the University. The Marshal has traditionally been a member of the faculty, assisted by other faculty members and an honor guard of students, now known as Student Marshals.

Vice Marshal and Assistant Marshals

The Vice Marshal leads the president’s party, while the Assistant Marshals lead the faculty party and candidates in the procession. This group is representative of the faculty body and administration, comprising individuals from the University’s various divisions and schools.

The University of Chicago Mace

Commissioned for the 500th Convocation in October 2009, the University Mace is made entirely of sterling silver and bears both the University Seal and the Coat of Arms, the Latin motto: Crescat scientia; vita excolatur, and the date of the University's incorporation in 1890. Handcrafted by Henry Powell Hopkins, III, a third-generation silversmith in Baltimore, Maryland, the mace is approximately four feet in length and is carried by the University Marshal at the annual University Convocation in June and other occasions of high ceremony.

Student Marshals

The role of Student Marshal is one of the highest honors the University awards to undergraduate students. Student Marshals are third-year students appointed by the President of the University, based on 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. In the early days of the University, the role of Student Marshal was only offered to male students. In 1904, President Harper approved the participation of female students, but with the title of “Student Aide.” Since the 1970s, the Student Marshal title has been gender-inclusive.

The University Marshals

Victoria E. Prince

Marshal

Victoria Prince (BSc. 1986, Imperial College; Ph.D. 1991, University College, London) has served as University Marshal since 2015, when she took over the role from Catherine Baumann, Director of the Chicago Language Center.  

Dr. Prince completed her postdoctoral training at Princeton University before establishing her independent research lab at The University of Chicago in 1997.  She is Professor of Organismal Biology & Anatomy, and has been the Division of the Biological Sciences Dean for Graduate Affairs since 2010.  Dr. Prince has made important contributions to several areas of developmental biology research including Hox genes, hindbrain patterning, consequences of gene and genome duplications, and regionalization of the endoderm.  Her current research uses the powerful zebrafish model to investigate neural development and regionalization of the developing body plan. Dr. Prince directs the NIH-funded Developmental Biology Training Program and co-directs the myCHOICE (Chicago Options in Career Empowerment) program.


William G. Howell

Vice Marshal

William Howell is the Sydney Stein Professor in American Politics at the University of Chicago. Currently, he is the chair of the political science department, and he also holds additional appointments in the Harris School of Public Policy and the College.  William has written widely on separation-of-powers issues and American political institutions, especially the presidency. He currently is working on research projects on Obama’s education initiatives, the origins of political authority, and the normative foundations of executive power.


Rachel Fulton Brown

Assistant Marshal

Rachel Fulton Brown is Associate Professor of History in the Social Sciences, Fundamentals, and the College. She is the author of From Judgment to Passion: Devotion to Christ and the Virgin Mary, 800-1200, and Mary and the Art of Prayer: The Hours of the Virgin in Medieval Christian Life and Thought, both published by Columbia University Press. She teaches courses at Chicago in the history of Christianity, the history of European civilization, and the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.


Andrew M. Davis

Assistant Marshal

Andrew Davis is a Professor in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences, the Enrico Fermi Institute, and the College of the University of Chicago, specializing in isotope geochemistry and cosmochemistry. He and his group use samples returned to Earth by spacecraft (cometary, asteroidal, and interstellar dust; the solar wind) and by nature (meteorites and interplanetary dust particles) to study the composition of the Sun, the chronology of and physical conditions during the earliest events that occurred in our solar system, and how chemical elements were made in stars. These measurements are made possible by CHILI, the CHicago Instrument for Laser Ionization, a unique instrument built in Davis’ laboratory, which allows isotopic and chemical analysis with much higher sensitivity, lateral resolution, and freedom from interferences than the previous state-of-the-art.


Helma Dik

Assistant Marshal

Helma Dik (Ph.D. Amsterdam 1995) is Associate Professor of Classics. She works on ancient Greek linguistics and philolology, including computational approaches. She has written books on word order in the historian Herodotus and Greek tragedy. With a number of her students and alumni, she is responsible for Logeion, a reference for all things classical, and Perseus under PhiloLogic, a reading and research environment for Greek and Latin texts. 


Richard H. Helmholz

Assistant Marshal

R. H. Helmholz is the Ruth Wyatt Rosenson Distinguished Service Professor of Law.  He has taught at the University since 1981, before which he taught at Washington University in St. Louis.  He is an historian of English law and also the medieval canon law.  His most recent book is Natural Law in Court (Harvard U. Press, 2015), in which he traces the role played by natural law in legal practice of the courts of Europe, England, and the United States from 1500 to the mid-19th century.


Patrick J. La Riviere

Assistant Marshal

Patrick J. La Riviere is an Associate Professor of Radiology. He received an A.B. degree in physics from Harvard University in 1994 and the Ph.D. degree from the Graduate Programs in Medical Physics in the Department of Radiology at the University of Chicago in 2000. In between, he studied the history and philosophy of physics while on the Lionel de Jersey-Harvard scholarship to Cambridge University. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology at the University of Chicago, where his research interests include tomographic reconstruction in computed tomography, x-ray fluorescence computed tomography, and computational microscopy. 


Allison Squires

Assistant Marshal

Allison Squires is a Neubauer Family Assistant Professor in the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. Her research centers on understanding how heterogeneity in molecular properties and behavior influence macroscale biological function from the bottom up. The Squires Lab develops new tools to observe, manipulate, and model single molecules moving and interacting at the nanoscale, so that we can better understand and control key biological functions like light harvesting and cell signaling.


Christina von Nolcken

Assistant Marshal

Christina von Nolcken, Associate Professor Emerita in the Department of English, the Program in Medieval Studies and the College, came to the University in 1979. She has mainly taught courses on Old and Middle English language and literature and in the Humanities. Her publication has been on the writings of the followers of John Wyclif (d. 1384). She is currently writing the biography of novelist, code-breaker and University of Chicago Professor, Edith Rickert (d. 1938), who helped prepare a groundbreaking edition of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.


Christian K. Wedemeyer

Assistant Marshal

Christian K. Wedemeyer is Associate Professor of the History of Religions; Associate Faculty in South Asian Languages and Civilaztions, and the College. He is an historian of religions whose interests comprehend theory and method in the human sciences, the history of modern scholarship on religion and culture, and issues of history, textuality, and ritual in the Buddhist traditions. Within these very general domains, much of his research has concerned the esoteric (Tantric) Buddhism of India and Tibet. He has written on the modern historiography of Tantric Buddhism; antinomianism in the Indian esoteric traditions; canonicity, textual criticism, and strategies of legitimating authority in classical Tibetan scholasticism; and the semiology of esoteric Buddhist ritual. 


Peter White

Assistant Marshal

Peter White is the Herman C. Bernick Family Professor in Classics and the College.  He teaches courses in Latin poetry, comedy, and historiography, and on Cicero, Augustine, and Boethius. His most recent book is Cicero in Letters.