Grand Marshal Week 2015 came to a close April 17 as another series of events was ramping up: the Rensselaer Union’s 125th Anniversary programming will stretch from Grand Marshal Week 2015 to Grand Marshal Week 2016 to celebrate the rich history and bright future of student leadership within clubs, athletics, and beyond at Rensselaer.

Union Plaque UnveilingThe kickoff event took place on Saturday, April 18, with a GM and PU plaque unveiling at the Rensselaer Student Union. The plaque was donated by Greg Waters ’97 (129th Grand Marshal) and features the engraved names of past Grand Marshals and Presidents of the Union. Names on the plaque date back to 1865 with Rensselaer’s first GM, Albert M. Harper. Harper left Rensselaer to fight in the Civil War during his sophomore year and returned years later as Major Harper. The title of Grand Marshal was granted to him by his fellow students in honor of his service.

Among the nearly 60 guests present on Saturday, Grand Marshals who attended the event included Ira Tackel ’76, Mark Feinstein ’77, Greg Waters ’97, Julia Leusner ’08, Michael Zwack ’11, and Kyle Keraga ’15. Former President of the Union John Almstead ’69 was also in attendance, along with Erin Amarello ’15. The event consisted of a short program that concluded with the unveiling of the plaque donated by Waters and a presentation of baseball shirts to alumni GMs and PUs, both to thank them for their service and to honor one of the first teams supported by the student activity fee, the baseball team.

“The event was a balance of lighthearted fun and education as student leaders of the present met student leaders of the past to discuss how times have changed and where the Rensselaer Union is headed in the future,” said Cameron McLean, director of student activities. “All of us at the Rensselaer Union are hoping many past student leaders of clubs and organizations attend activities and events planned throughout the year.”

More information on upcoming events can be found on the Union’s website.

Follow events on Twitter using #RPIunion125.

As Rensselaer approaches its 200th year, the Institute is highlighting important milestones of how the world has been transformed by the achievements of Rensselaer people—past and present. Inside Rensselaer is showcasing some of the remarkable achievements and anniversaries throughout the year, including notable milestones and alumni and alumnae accomplishments.