Alumna to speak at fall commencement

Kim Seymour, a 1992 graduate of the University of Martin and the chief human resources officer for, will deliver the address at the two Fall 2023 commencement ceremonies held Saturday, Dec. 9.

The ceremonies will be held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center.

UT Martin Chancellor Yancy Freeman will preside over the first commencement ceremonies of his administration since he became the university’s 12th chancellor on Aug. 9.

Seymour, who graduated from UTM with a bachelor’s degree in political science, came to the university after graduating from White Station High School in Memphis along with many of her classmates.

Seymour said that she saw going to UT Martin as a step toward her goal of completing law school and becoming a district attorney before possibly running for office.

“I grew up with a strong sense of civic responsibility,” she said. “That led me to believe that if you’re not willing to do the work to change something, then don’t complain about it. My way of really being in a position to influence and change – I thought – was to run for office.”

Seymour went on to earn her master of business administration from Indiana University and graduate from the Vanderbilt University School of Law before pivoting in a corporate direction after deciding to make change in a different way.

Seymour has led human resources at Etsy for the last two years – headquartered in Brooklyn, New York – but has been in human resources for about 25 years, with 15 of those years spent in New York. She has served as the chief people officer for Weight Watchers International and worked with American Expres, Home Depot and General Electric.

She said she was excited to return to campus as the commencement address speaker at her alma mater.

“I am excited not just the progress that has happened over all of these years, but I’m even more excited about UTM’s future,” she said.

The 10 a.m. ceremony will include undergraduate and graduate-degree candidates from the colleges of agriculture and applied sciences, and business and global affairs. The 2 p.m. ceremony will also include both undergraduate and graduate-degree candidates and feature graduates from the colleges of education, health and behavioral sciences, engineering and natural sciences, and humanities and fine arts.

Each ceremony will be livestreamed at and The ceremonies will be archived on YouTube for later viewing.

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