Staff Profile: Mary Kate Boland ’01

  • Mary Kate Boland ’01  

Mary Kate Boland ’01 doesn’t think much of relaxing.

“Who has time for that? I’m not someone who knows what to do with free time,” she said.

As the director of Fraternity & Sorority Life at Franklin & Marshall College, she advises, assists and sometimes shepherds the seven fraternities and three sororities operating chapters at the College.

“The best part of my job is working with some of the best and brightest students at Franklin & Marshall,” she said.

Boland, who took the position in 2006, keeps track of membership in the fraternities and sororities, assists the Greeks in organizing their charitable work and ensures the rules and regulations are followed when the fraternities and sororities host social events.

“There is a set of rules the College expects them to follow. My job is to make sure they do,” Boland explained.

This year, Boland admitted, has been tough. For a time in the fall term, Dean Kent Trachte put a moratorium on Greek events.

“We received information that the organizations were not following the existing social event protocols,” Boland said. “We needed to take some time and evaluate the issue.”

College administrators met with Greek student leaders and decided that fraternities and sororities hosting events would be required to hire licensed bartenders to improve compliance with state laws prohibiting anyone under 21 from being served alcohol.

Her other job

The shelves in Boland’s Steinman College Center office are lined with deflated volleyballs: memorabilia from her days on F’s volleyball team. Boland was a member of the 2000 and 2001 Centennial Conference championship teams.

A stack of game tapes is piled on a corner table next to a large television, a reminder of Boland’s other job at the College as head coach of the Diplomat’s volleyball team.

She took over the head coaching position in 2003 when Steve Coulson decided to step down. At Boland’s request, Coulson stayed on as an assistant coach.

“I call him my Yoda,” she said. “If it had not been for him, I wouldn’t have been able to manage this.”

Her other assistant coach is Chris Solko. She calls him “fiance.” The couple were engaged in 2003 and plan to be married next year.

“It’s nice to be with someone who understands what a coach’s life is like: tournaments, recruiting and scouting. We work well together,” she said.

It’s not all bliss, admitted Boland. “We’ve actually tried to play doubles volleyball together but it didn’t go very well. We get impatient with each other.”

Boland lives in Exton and commutes to campus. She spends much of her time with her family.

“I hang out with my parents a lot, which is kind of sad for a 29-year-old woman,” Boland said with a grin and a shrug.

Not surprisingly, when Boland does step out, it’s usually onto a volleyball court, whether it is as the coach of a Junior Olympic development team in Valley Forge, Pa., or in a league she and some of her high school teammates play in.

One night a week, she and her pals from high school play volleyball together.

She said they can’t jump or chase down the balls like they used to, but Boland said it doesn’t really matter much.

“We do it to be together.”

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