Tattoo You

Tim Ervin/National Park Service

No, Towson University President Kim Schatzel didn’t emerge from the August 11 tattoo ceremony at Baltimore’s historic Fort McHenry sporting any permanent body ink. But she did leave with a smile that she won’t soon shed.

Schatzel was the guest of honor at the annual changing of the guard event—called a Navy tattoo ceremony—in which reenactors (including three TU students) portrayed the Fort McHenry Guard inside the fort’s parade grounds. She presided over the ceremony with the fort’s superintendent, Tina Cappetta, who said Schatzel was being recognized for her distinguished career in higher education and her service to the Baltimore region.

During the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814, Baltimoreans helped defend the fort against a British invasion.

The courageous stand inspired Francis Scott Key to pen “The Star-Spangled Banner” while held captive aboard a ship offshore. More than a century later, TU alum Charles Linthicum helped make the song the national anthem. Schatzel spoke about the brave soldiers and thanked those who work
to share the fort’s history with the public today.

“It’s in that same spirit of pride and love for the city that Towson University has built its BTU partnerships at work for Greater Baltimore,” she said.

“BTU stands for Baltimore/Towson University, but if you’re familiar with science you may also recognize it as a unit of energy. And that’s exactly what it is—talented Towson University students and faculty putting their energy into lifting up the communities in Greater Baltimore.”

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According to the National Park Service, the fort’s history began in 1776 when the citizens of Baltimore Town feared an attack by British ships.
An earthen star fort known as Fort Whetstone was quickly constructed. The fort, like Baltimore, was never attacked during our first conflict with England.