As a graduate of Trinity High School in Camp Hill, Matthew Zemba was familiar with Shippensburg University’s Red Raider Marching Band. He dug a little deeper and found Ship was it for him.

“After touring campus at an open house and seeing the residence halls, I was sold. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming, and I knew I wanted to go here,” Zemba said.

Now a member of the class of 2021, Zemba is in the Communication/Journalism, Electronic Media Concentration, B.A. program. He is also in the Technical/Professional Communications Minor and, given his passion for music, the Music Minor.

“I have been a member of the Shippensburg University Marching Band ever since I came in as a freshman in 2017. The band helped me make my transition to college life easier and I’ve found some of my closest friends within this organization. I’ve gained skills in musicianship, time management and leadership throughout my crew and cabinet positions. And I’ve gotten to travel to places I thought I’d never be able to see,” Zemba said.

The skills Zemba has gained through the band are welcome on top of his ability to build out his resume and portfolio through his major’s many hands-on opportunities.

“Shippensburg University has helped me become a better creator, student and leader,” Zemba said.

He credits professors like Stephanie Witmer in the Communication/Journalism Department and Director of Bands Trever Famulare with contributing to the strength of the Ship network. This has allowed him to embrace the family feel of the university.

“Something that surprised me about Shippensburg University was the culture of acceptance and respect we have for one another. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have always felt welcomed and safe on campus. And I’ve received so much love and support from all of my peers. I’ve also discovered that college isn’t as scary as I thought it would be, and I’m making my greatest memories and friendships to last a lifetime.”

Read more stories from the Class of 2021.