Grand Marshal

Posted by T. A. Gobert on April 16, 2015
It’s no secret that the Grand Marshal is symbolized by a top hat – the GM even writes a column by that title in the Polytechnic.
Posted by John Dojka on April 27, 2010
For the first time in the 145-year history of the Grand Marshal, there is the possibility that an incumbent will serve a second term.  Remarkable?  Perhaps, but it may be useful to put this historic moment into perspective with some past election criteria.  From 1866 to 1970, the Rensselaer Union constitution stated that: "The Grand Marshal and President of the Union shall be members of the Junior class at the time of their elections, having been a student at Rensselaer for at least thre
Posted by John Dojka on July 28, 2009
The cane, a fashion accessory popular in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, was also a college status symbol.  Canes or walking sticks were once commonly "worn" by men during this time period.  At many colleges, freshmen had to earn the right to carry a cane on campus.  Cane rushes or cane contests involved a game of sport or wit between the freshmen and sophomores to win this right.  If the RPI freshmen lost, they could not carry canes until Washington's birthday.  Check out this web page to learn more about the contest at RPI: 
Posted by John Dojka on March 27, 2009
There were no Grand Marshals elected from 1890-1893 -- an unexplained gap in a long history of Grand Marshals. There were no wars, no national crises and no apparent upheavals at the Institute.  Published histories do not provide an explanation and references to it merely mention that the office was suspended during this time period.
Posted by John Dojka on March 28, 2008
Grand Marshal Week is just ahead and the campus is covered in campaign signs. This past week, while looking through a scrapbook compiled by Dwinel French Thompson, I found a few news clippings regarding GM week during the 1870s. Before I get to that, I should tell you a little about Dwinel (interesting name isn't it?). Dwinel F. Thompson was professor of descriptive geometry and drawing from 1872 to 1917. He taught a course that students loathed, but they didn't hold it against him.
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