Marshall named senior fellow

Margaret Marshall LAW ’76, who was named the Yale Corporation senior fellow, will be the first female in the Corporation’s highest leadership position.
Margaret Marshall LAW ’76, who was named the Yale Corporation senior fellow, will be the first female in the Corporation’s highest leadership position. Photo by Jacob Geiger.

The University gained another new campus leader Tuesday when the Yale Corporation named former Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Margaret Marshall LAW ’76 as its next senior fellow.

In a Wednesday morning press release, the University announced that Marshall — who is currently a fellow of the Yale Corporation — will succeed current senior fellow Edward Bass ’67 ARC ’72 in July, marking the first time the Yale Corporation has seen a female in its highest leadership position. The senior fellow of the 19-person governing board serves as the “first among equals among the trustees,” University President Richard Levin said, and is in charge of coordinating the Corporation agenda with the president, among other responsibilities.

“[Marshall is] steady and reliable and extremely constructive,” Levin said. “It will be a great help to the Corporation and [President-elect] Peter Salovey to have her as senior fellow.”

Levin said Marshall was the “consensus choice” for senior fellow when members of the Trusteeship Committee on the Yale Corporation spoke with each trustee individually to hear his or her thoughts about who should serve as the new senior fellow.

Though Salovey and Marshall will both be new to their positions in July, Levin said he does not expect the new leadership roles to come as a challenge for the pair. Levin added that Marshall is well-acquainted with higher education after her time as vice president and general counsel at Harvard University, and she is currently in her second term as a member of the Yale Corporation.

“Through the years Margaret Marshall has been a pioneering and thoughtful jurist, and an outstanding citizen of Yale. I look forward to working closely with her and drawing upon her wisdom,” Salovey said in the press release.

Marshall became the first woman to serve as chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 1999. Before she stepped down in 2010, Marshall penned over 300 opinions, including the case that legalized same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.

A native of South Africa, Marshall earned a master’s degree in education in 1969 at Harvard before receiving her degree from Yale Law School. According to the University press release, Marshall will be the first senior fellow both not to have been born in the United States and not to have attended Yale College.

Bass, who has served as senior fellow for the past two years, said in the press release that “it is gratifying to know that such an able and effective individual will be at our new president’s side.”

Marshall led Levin’s Advisory Committee on Campus Climate in 2011, a direct response to the Title IX allegations against Yale. She started her first term as an alumni fellow in 2004 before becoming a successor trustee in 2012.

The Yale Corporation will convene on campus this weekend for its annual April meeting.

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