Major League Soccer (MLS) executive Mark McClure ’96, vice president, technical operations, will be on his college turf when he returns to the University of Mary Washington as the 2024 Commencement speaker. The ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 11, beginning at 9 a.m. on Ball Circle, rain or shine. Tickets are not needed for the in-person event, and it’s also streamed online, something in which McClure is an expert.

For more than a decade, he has worked to bring sports fans to Major League Soccer via digital strategy and content and now manages a team that helps broadcast matches around the world on MLS’ streaming services on Apple TV. It’s a broad sports career that has focused on fans, players and their stories, something apt for the English major – McClure holds a B.A. in English from Mary Washington – who followed his love of reading and writing through epic college courses, with time for extra courses in classics and art history and teaching himself coding in the computer labs.

As an undergraduate student hailing from Springfield, Virginia, McClure worked in the dining hall all four years, paying his own way through college and advancing to a student manager position. He also served in student government positions. Following graduation, he joined the Office of Admissions as a counselor for a year, and after a brief stint away, returned as assistant dean of admissions. He found his way into soccer through digital media work, first with D.C. United as director of digital media and then moving to MLS headquarters in New York. Prior to joining MLS, he led the redesigns for several major newspaper websites and Fortune 500 companies. Read more.