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

Those inspired by Marvin Creamer share there thoughts below, whether they were friends and fans, or students* and strangers who read about his journey:

“I just read an article about Dr. Creamer's voyage and am blown away by his voyage and spirit. I am certain his life will inspire generations to undertake adventures of their own. Hopefully, one day publishers will realize their folly in not publishing his book and the world will be richer for it if and when it does print.”Vincent Kramer

“I only met Dr. Creamer one loss.”Mark Allen

"Hearing Dr.Marvin Creamer's story was very inspirational. When hearing his voyage, I was so shocked that he travelled to many different places and did this all without any instruments to help him find his way.  I am so happy that I got to learn about him and his journey.  He will be missed." -  Marisa Caccese*
"Dr. Creamer is an amazing role model for us all. He shows us to dream big and live out our dreams. His bravery and determination is inspiring. His story will live on forever and he will never be forgotten. Condolences to the Creamer family."Sarah Sheppard*
"Dr. Marvin Creamer was an inspiration as a global traveler. He had a dream to travel around the world without any navigational aid, and he made that happen! Dr. Creamer had a passion for travel and a passion for the Earth. My prayers go to the Creamer family."Erin Steckler*
"Dr. Marvin Creamer inspired many individuals around him, including students who attend Rowan University. When learning about his voyage the first week of classes, I was amazed by all that he did without the use of technology. He was a determined man and reached his goals with any hesitation. He will forever be remembered for his bravery and achievements. My condolences to the Creamer family."Taylor Raucci*
"The legacy that Dr. Marvin Creamer's leave on currents generations will last forever, because his voyage, besides to be inspirational, was a demonstration of Geography Knowledge, and  that without technology we can do the inimaginable, that the world was explored without the technology help, as he did it. Today technology covers all aspects of our world, he explores  most of the ocean`s world without it.Dr. Creamer determination and courage together with the boat crews, will last always forever not just on the wall of our Faculty(GPS) also will last on our hearts."Eduardo Saba*
"Dr. Marvin Creamer’s journey is inspiring. It shows us that with determination and perseverance we can do anything we set our minds to. Dr. Creamer’s voyage was one that many thought could not be done. It takes a lot of courage to take such a perilous journey. However, because of his extensive geographic knowledge, Dr. Creamer was able to complete his journey, making him a pioneer in the field of geography, and an inspiration to many. My condolences to the Creamer family."Ben Stephens*
"Dr Marvin Creamer’s journey and legacy inspired me to learn more about the planet. Hearing about his journey showed me the different wonders of the natural world, giving me a new appreciation for geography. Dr Creamer may be gone, but he will not be forgotten."Michael Dorrer*
"Dr.  Marvin Creamer's journey was truly inspiring. Learning about all of the different places he traveled without any instruments was very shocking to me because I have never heard of anyone being able to do that before. His legacy will live on forever, especially here at Rowan. My condolences to the Creamer family."Ariana Guuido*

"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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