The Marshall Plan

President Mitchel Wallerstein congratulates Garen Marshall (’11) at Commencement 2011. Weissman School Dean Jeffrey Peck (left) looks on. Photo by Mario Morgado

The Marshall Plan

2011 Valedictorian and Decorated Vet Readies for Law School

There are many stars among the 4,184 graduates of the Class of 2011, and Garen Marshall (’11) is certainly one of them. A double undergraduate major in philosophy and political science, Marshall has earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average. The Brooklyn native has also earned numerous collegiate prizes, including the prestigious Joel B. Zweibel Pre-Law Honors Award, conferred on a graduating senior active in community service with plans to attend law school after graduation. Marshall enrolls in NYU School of Law this fall.

Like many other 2011 graduates, Marshall is an older, nontraditional student. Yet it’s the reason for his later start that further sets him apart from his peers: From December 2003 to August 2008, he was a Navy special operations explosives warfare specialist. As a frontline supervisor, Marshall led a 25-man team on 120 combat missions. During his two tours of duty, he was recognized with the Bronze Star, Iraq Campaign Medal, and Humanitarian Service Medal, among a dozen other awards. “I felt a strong desire to get involved after our country came under attack on 9/11. I was a high school junior at the time, so I had to wait a full year to enlist, which I did two days after my 18th birthday,” he recalls.

Marshall’s professors are quick to make the connection between his exemplary military service and leadership and his maturity and integrity as a Baruch student.

Thomas Halper, chair of the Department of Political Science, is Marshall’s advisor for his senior honors thesis, Choosing War: A Constitutional and Ethical Evaluation of the U.S. Response to 9/11 in OIF and OEF. “Garen’s observations are invariably on point, often insightful in non-obvious ways, and though philosophically grounded, very practical in their approach. But what really raises his paper well above the level of typical honors thesis is his personal experience and the deep thought that it provokes.”

Another of Marshall’s professorial fans is Douglas Lackey, chair of the Department of Philosophy, who, recalling the student’s perfect performance on the short-answer section of a midterm, offered this somewhat tongue-in-cheek connection: ”I conjecture that if you spend five years, as he did, dismantling bombs in Iraq, you adopt a policy of never making mistakes.”

Marshall has been thoughtful, too, in his preparation for a legal career. Since August 2010, he has been a legal research intern at the Kings County Criminal Court. He is a certified Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) instructor as well. Marshall’s impressive list of College extracurricular activities includes the presidency of Baruch’s Pre-Law Society.

How did this exceptional student choose Baruch College? “My wife, Anna Marshall, graduated from Baruch in 2006 with a BA in business communications. She really loved her time at Baruch. Between Baruch’s amazing location, its affordability, and my wife’s strong recommendation, attending Baruch was an easy choice.”

—Diane Harrigan











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1 Comment

  1. As a totally biased person in regard to Garen Marshall’s outstanding academic record and service to our country I can only say how proud I am to have him as my grandson. I know that he will have an excellent career in law and will always be a fine representative of this nation’s best citizens.

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