Marshal is a term used in several official titles of various branches of society - in academia, politics, law enforcement, and in the military.
The word derives from the Old High German marah (meaning horse) and schalh (meaning servant), and originally meant "stablekeeper." As Marshals became valued members of Medieval European courts, this title grew both in stature and prominence. Over the preceding centuries, the title of Marshal has been used in relation to many prominent positions or offices.
A university marshal often leads, or guides, graduates in a procession to the location where the graduating ceremony, or Convocation, takes place.
In our Convocations, the Marshal is often a ranking member of the University's faculty or administration. Their duties include instructing the various processions (Academic, Chancellor's, and Graduate) on how to enter the Convocation Hall, as well as directing each group to their respective place when they arrive.
Their role ensures that the key participants in the Convocation ceremony are in the proper position in a timely and orderly fashion.
“Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language” , ( New York: Gramercy Books, 1996), pp. 879
E. M. Kirkpatrick, ed., “ Chambers 20th Century Dictionary,” ( Edinburgh: W & R Chambers Ltd., 1983), pp. 772.