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Dean of Students Katherine O’Dair will serve as Harvard’s new University Marshal, the University announced Wednesday.
O’Dair, who has formerly served in a number of administrative roles including former associate vice president of student affairs at Boston College, will assume her new role on October 1. Assuming the deanship in 2016, O’Dair coordinated programming for undergraduate student life over the pandemic following students’ abrupt departure from campus in March 2020 during the coronavirus outbreak.
“As dean of students for the College, she deftly reoriented and reorganized student life to ensure our undergraduates receive robust care and support,” University President Lawrence S. Bacow wrote in a Wednesday email to affiliates announcing her new post.
Established in 1908 and housed in the historic Wadsworth House, the University Marshal serves as a global “front door” for dignitaries, delegations, and international visitors. The Marshal also welcomes new faculty and students to the University, providing them with an introduction that “helps demystify Harvard for first-time visitors.”
Margot N. Gill took over as University Marshal in 2017, following University Marshal Jacqueline “Jackie” O’Neil’s retirement from the role after 13 years. The office consisted only of one full-time staff member since Gill’s retirement in January 2021, according to the University Marshal’s website.
Bacow lauded O’Dair’s wide-ranging administrative experience in the Wednesday email.
“The University Marshal opens Harvard to the world,” Bacow wrote. “Her deep knowledge of Harvard, her expertise and eagerness, and her curiosity and resolve will guarantee that all who find themselves in our midst come to know Harvard at its best.”
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