Skip to main content

Giles "Gil" Kemp '72

Gil Kemp

Gil Kemp ‘72 began his career developing direct-marketing programs for books and newsletters for New American Library, Bantam Books, and Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. In 1990, he founded Home Decorators Collection, leading the company as president until 2009, approximately three years after it was purchased by The Home Depot.

Kemp became the 13th chair of the Board of Managers in February 2012. Since joining the board in 2003, he has three times chaired the College's Annual Fund as well as served, among his other Board-related roles, as chair of the Strategic Planning Council, which led the College community through an 18-month direction-setting process and produced Strategic Directions. Kemp became an emeritus board member in 2020.

Kemp is the co-author of Dale Carnegie: The Man Who Influenced Millions (1989). He currently serves on the boards of the East Meets West Foundation, which supports health and education programs in Asia, and Let's Get Ready, which provides free SAT preparation and college admission counseling to low-income high school students. He also serves on the boards of the Thrive Foundation, Let’s Get Ready, American University of Paris and Occidental College.

Kemp, who lives in Orlando, Fla., graduated with honors with a B.A. in sociology from Swarthmore and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1976. A former student-athlete at Swarthmore, Kemp held the College's outdoor mile record of 4:15.5 from 1970 to 2015.