Off she went to change the world

By Kyle Hobstetter on May 15, 2018

After working 36 Commencement ceremonies, Mare Kemp’s last graduation will be her own

Towson University Graduate Mare Kemp
After working as a marshal at 36 Towson University commencement ceremonies, Mare Kemp will get to walk across the SECU Arena stage as a 2018 TU graduate. 

Over the past four years, Mare Kemp has led thousands of students into SECU Arena for Towson University’s Commencement ceremonies.

This spring is different for the family and human services major. After working as a marshal for 36 graduations, Kemp will get the turn to walk across the stage at SECU Arena as a 2018 TU graduate.

“I’ve been on the side for so many years thinking ‘One day it will be me, one day it will be me,’” Kemp said. “Now it finally is me. It’s going to be so validating, and I’ll feel a lot of gratitude for all the people who helped get me to this point.”

Mare Kemp as a commencement marshal
Kemp, third from the left, served as a marshal for 36 Towson University Commencements. Her job was to lead the graduates into SECU Arena. 

From the beginning, Kemp established herself as an involved TU student, joining Project Serve, Greek life and student affairs. She participated in Project Serve, a three-day community service experience for incoming freshmen, later serving as a facilitator and on its executive board.

She also joined a sorority, Tri-Delta, in 2015, becoming its vice president for membership in 2016, and then chapter president the following year. Her experience managing a Greek organization with over 140 women earned her the Female President of the Year award from the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and her first full-time job.

After graduation, Kemp will be a chapter development consultant for the national Tri-Delta organization, traveling to different schools across the country to help mentor other Tri-Delta members. 

“My sorority membership, not just in my chapter but in the Greek community as a whole, really shaped who I am as a leader today,” Kemp said. “It wasn’t always easy, it wasn’t always fun, but it definitely helped me realize how I interact with people, how to manage people, and just gave me a lot of tangible skills that I think are transferable to the working world.”

Kemp also worked with the Office of New Student and Family Programs, serving for two years as an orientation leader and the following year as student director for program logistics. She enjoyed working with the professional staff there, including director Katie Murray.

Kemp was awarded the Vice President of Student Affairs Award for her orientation work. She also found her calling and plans to pursue a master’s degree and eventually work in student affairs. “I want to work at a university and give back to students like the staff at TU gave back to me,“ Kemp said.   

With her TU career coming to an end, Kemp is readying her commencement regalia—she has the Tri-Delta letters on her mortarboard along with a personal decoration of red, white and pink flowers, accompanied by the phrase “& off she went to change the world.”

“I feel a lot of excitement and pride for TU,” she said. “I’m going to be a very proud Towson University alum. I believe in the mission of the university, and everything that the people who work and teach here are trying to do. I believe in it and I’m thankful for it.”