Remembering Marv Creamer

Remembering Marv Creamer

Remembering Marv Creamer

Regarding the Passing of Dr. Marvin Creamer

I am writing in remembrance and celebration of Dr. Marvin Creamer, who passed away Wednesday, August 12th, 2020, at the age of 104.  Dr. Creamer founded the Department of Geography and Anthropology at Glassboro State College some 50 years ago in 1970.  The Department is now known as the Department of Geography, Planning, & Sustainability at Rowan University.  I am a faculty member in the Department and also its chairperson.  Because I joined the faculty in 2018, long after Dr. Creamer retired, I did not have the opportunity to meet him in person.  However, I feel that I have come to know him through the many stories that I have heard from faculty, staff, current students and alumni affiliated with the Department.  I’d like to offer a summary of those stories as a tribute to Dr. Creamer.

The Dr. Creamer I have come to know was a person of compassion and courage, someone unafraid to exemplify kindness while simultaneously challenging colleagues and students to be more creative, confident, and innovative.  Upon entering the Department in 2018, I immediately felt what I have come to label a “heritage of humility”, and that culture—established and nurtured by Dr. Creamer for several decades—challenged me to rethink my own role in supporting academic inquiry, innovation, and creativity.  The Dr. Creamer I have heard about many times from many different people was a person who exhibited an infectious curiosity that inspired generations of students and faculty alike.  He has certainly inspired me to be a more curious faculty member and a steward of an amazing legacy.  For that I will be forever grateful.       

I believe that Dr. Creamer was a geographer at heart, and that he represents the very best that the Discipline of Geography offers.  He was an impassioned explorer, a beloved educator, and a committed advocate for the environment.  He was forward thinking, yet anchored with knowledge of and respect for the past.  I am honored and deeply privileged to be part of the Department he founded and the lineage that he has established. 

While Dr. Creamer’s physical presence will certainly be missed, there is a tribute monument on campus right next to Robinson Hall titled “Endeavor.”  Dr. Creamer helped design this monument, and it is a great place to be inspired by his spirit.  His many contributions live on at Rowan University.  My experiences documented above are a testament to this fact.     

Please join me in investing in the scholarship fund established in his name, which will ensure his legacy is sustained in perpetuity.  The fund will aid deserving students who exemplify Dr. Creamer’s kindness and compassion, his commitment to exploration and academic excellence, and to the study of our environment.  I cannot think of a better way to honor Dr. Creamer and to keep his memory alive!

Please consider helping to fill the sails of the Marvin and Blanche Creamer Scholarship with your tax deductible donation of any amount.


Dr. Kevin Keenan, Ph.D., AICP
Department Chairperson

Tribute Wall

"Many people break records yet few create them. In 2012 I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Creamer lecture on his epic circumnavigation on his sailboat Globe Star. You could see that he was an outstanding Geography Professor throughout his presentation. Along with the adventures of the voyage Dr. Creamer wove in the details of navigating without instruments and by the sea and stars. His legacy and guidance to our Geography Department were apparent by the large audience and faculty attending. On a personal note, it was a rare honor to chat with Dr. Creamer for a few minutes after his lecture. I was an Intermediate sailor at the time and there I was chit chatting about celestial navigation and getting rigging tips from a world class explorer. Dr. Creamer will always be a great role model for those that have dreams. Frank Gellenthin BA Geography '90" - Frank Gellenthin

More Information

To learn more about Marv's life and the role he played in the foundation of our department, head to our department history page.

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