Grand Marshals

Grand Marshal Gunn McKay in a Homecoming parade, 1973
Grand Marshal and Utah State Congressman Gunn McKay, riding in the Homecoming Parade in 1973.



A parade led by a grand marshal is one of the longest-standing traditions of Homecoming. Grand marshals are often notable community members and are sometimes USU alumni. Each year the selected grand marshal leads the Homecoming Parade and is honored at the Homecoming Game. In addition to selecting grand marshals, the Alumni Association has recently begun honoring an Alumnus of the Year and a Young Alumnus of the Year. Both traditions began in the 1980s but were not consistently awarded until the 2000s.[1]

Notable Grand Marshals

Stanford O. Cazier, circa 1980
Stanford O. Cazier, university president from 1979-1992. He and his wife Shirley were the grand marshals of the Homecoming Parade in 1992.



1992: Stanford and Shirley Cazier                           Stanford served as the President of USU from 1979 to 1992. He and his wife Shirley were honored during the Homecoming of his retirement year, although he continued as a professor emeritus of history until 1997. Stanford was a major benefactor of the Merrill-Cazier Library, constructed in 2005.[3]

Utah State University football team, 1960-1961
The members of the 1960-1961 Championship Football Team were honored as the grand marshals of the Homecoming Parade in 2010.

2010: The Football Team of 1960-61                                   For the 50th Anniversary of the 1960 Championship football team, the entire team was invited back to participate in Homecoming as grand marshals, including the star of the show, Merlin Olsen. This Homecoming also marked the official dedication of Merlin Olsen Field and the grand reveal of the Merlin Olsen statue that stood at the entrance of Romney Stadium. Unfortunately, Merlin passed away in March of that year was unable to witness the festivities. However, many of his family members and teammates were there to honor his memory.[4]

Utah State University basketball team, 1970-1971
The 1970 Championship Basketball Team, who were honored as the grand marshals in the 2011 Homecoming parade. 



2011: The Basketball Teams of 1969-1971                 Following the lead of the 2010 Homecoming celebration, this year's Homecoming featured the championship basketball teams from 1969-1971.[5]

2015: Ross and Mary Kay Peterson                                 Ross Peterson began teaching history at USU in 1971. From 1976-1984, he was the head of the history department and from 1986-1996 and 2001-2003 he was the Director of the Mountain West Center. After three years as President of Deep Springs College, he returned to USU in 2007 as the Vice President for Advancement. He held that position until 2011, when he became a Special Assistant to the President until he retired in 2015. One of Ross' accomplishments at USU was a massive fundraising effort that began in 2007 and raised hundreds of millions of dollars for the University.[6] He and his wife Mary Kay served as Grand Marshals in the 2015 parade. Ross continues to be an emeritus professor in the History department and was featured as the speaker in the debut of the physical exhibit. 

[1] Utah State University Office of Advancement Archives. Utah State University. Logan, Utah. 

[2] College Journal, Record Group 10.2:27. Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library Special Collections and Archives. Logan, Utah.

[3] "Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Merrill-Cazier Library." USU Digital Exhibits. Accessed August 16, 2018. http://exhibits.usu.edu/exhibits/show/merrillcazierlibrary/cazierscitech/cazierbio.

[4] Office of Advancement Archives.

[5] Office of Advancement Archives.

[6]Utah State University. "Emeritus and Retired Faculty." Utah State University Department of History. Accessed August 16, 2018. https://history.usu.edu/faculty/emeritus-and-retired-faculty.