Richard Barth ’89, CEO of KIPP charter schools, will serve as the chief marshal at the University’s Commencement exercises on May 29, the Harvard Alumni Association announced on Tuesday.
The chief marshal presides over an exclusive luncheon for invited guests on the day of Commencement. Later in the day, wearing a tophat and tails, Barth will lead a University-wide procession of alumni into the Yard for the Afternoon Program.
Barth was chosen from among nine candidates.
“My experience as an undergrad at Harvard was transformative, and opened my eyes to what a college education can do—not only for me, but for others,” Barth said in a press release. “Now, in my work with KIPP, I feel fortunate to be able to contribute toward helping students from our nation’s most underserved communities succeed in college and lead choice-filled lives.”
KIPP is an acronym for Knowledge is Power Program. Its charter schools offer a tuition-free, college preparatory curriculum for students who are accepted. There are 141 KIPP schools nationwide.
HAA selects the chief marshal each year from the Harvard College class celebrating its 25th reunion. Previous chief marshals include Arne S. Duncan '86, Nicholas D. Kristof '81-'82, a former Crimson news editor, and Economics professor Martin S. Feldstein '61.
—Staff writer Matthew Q. Clarida can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MattClarida.