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A field of 47 Harvard seniors vying for the four Class Marshal positions was narrowed down to eight finalists in a preliminary election yesterday. The four marshals will be selected by the Class of 1976 from the survivors in the final election today and tomorrow
The eight finalists are Marvin N. Bagwell, Darryl DePriest, David Durkee Evans, Thomas G. Hagerty, Chris Ruppenthal, Jeff Sonnenfeld, Ronald Wade and Wiz Wyatt.
Peter D. Shultz '52, general secretary of the Harvard Alumni, said yesterday that the marshals are "responsible for seeing that all Senior Week activities are coordinated."
The marshals, Shultz said, solicit funds and organize reunions for the class after graduation.
The positions demand a large time commitment, especially in the spring term, when the marshals work with the house committees and alumni to set up commencement activities, Shultz said.
As a reward for their efforts, the marshals lead the class in the Commencement Procession, he added.
Harvard and Radcliffe elect four marshals each who work together. The leading male and female vote-getters become first marshals.
When asked why the elections continue to be held separately, Shultz said that separate elections for Harvard and Radcliffe marshals are "the best way to keep the interest and loyalty of some of our older alumni."
Radcliffe students elected their marshals for the class of 1976 last spring. The First Marshal is Teresita Alvarez. Jane Borthwick, Susan Handy and Margaret Ross are the other marshals.
Of the 47 original Harvard candidates, 20 were graduated from prep schools, 16 play a varsity sport and 16 belong to a Final Club.
Victor A. Koivumaki III '67 of the Alumni Office said yesterday he did not think a "certain type" of student is attracted by the marshal post. He said a wide range of students run because "it's the highest honor your class can bestow upon you."
Most of the candidates seemed to be aware of the degree of commitment, both present and future, involved in the positions for which they were running, mostly in vain.
"It's my only graduation at Harvard and I'd like to have a part in it," said Jeff Garrity, one of the defeated candidates.
Alan Yates, another unsuccessful candidate, said last night that he wanted to be a marshal "for the same reasons everyone else does, to help the class from graduation on into the years ahead."
While one student said the position "would look good on my resume next year," most of the candidates attributed their ambitions to more altruistic goals.
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