Jeffery Born never attended his own graduation ceremonies to celebrate his academic achievements, but that hasn't stopped him from volunteering at Northeastern University ceremonies for the past twenty years. Born currently serves as the university's chief marshal.
“I started volunteering when I first arrived here in 1988,” said Born, professor of finance in the D'Amore-McKim School of Business. “I worked the first event and I enjoyed it—I guess because I never went to enough of my own graduations.”
The cadre attends official university events including the President's Convocation, PhD hooding, honors award ceremonies, and the undergraduate Commencement ceremony. This group is responsible for ushering people into the building, ensuring everyone is seated appropriately, and of course – that graduates receive their degrees.
More than 3,000 Northeastern students will graduate this year.
“Over the years, graduation has become cool,” he said, explaining that it wasn't always the case that such a large proportion of students would attend Commencement. In earlier years, many of them opted to skip the ceremony. Now, we set new records every year,” Born said. “It's a standing-room-only kind of event.”
Commencement, Born said, is a great event to be a part of after a busy semester.
“It really recharges your batteries as a member of the faculty,” Born said. “It's such a positive event, it's just infectious. Going home I find myself thinking, ‘Now I know why I do this. This is why I do this.'”
The full cadre of marshals includes Stefano Basagni, Jeffery Born, Chris Bosso, Luca Caracoglia, Dennis Cokely, Martin Dias, Jean Egan, Chuck Fountain, Leon Janikian, David Kaeli, Dan Kennedy, Susan Montgomery, Jay Mulki, Mary Jo Ondrechen, Mary Susan Potts-Santone, Carmen Sceppa, Heather Streets-Salter, Annemarie Sullivan, and Ronald Willey.