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Celebrating Fifty Years of Impact: History Lane



Aug 30, 2013


Celebrating Fifty Years of Impact: History Lane

As part of Semester at Sea’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, photography and archival exhibits are on display throughout the halls of the MV Explorer. “History Lane,” installed on deck 6, features historic artifacts and depicts the unique nature of SAS as a floating, living-learning community. Multiple “Then and Now” photography exhibits showcase scenes from the first voyage and from today’s voyages, illustrating the similarities and differences of the program since 1963.

Students walk along Deck 6 where the newly installed History Lane showcases artifacts and memorabilia from Semester at Sea’s first 50 years.
These metal cabin keys used on the MS Seven Seas differ greatly from the plastic ID cards currently used by students today.
Student Anthony Jones of Ohio University walks by the 50th display commemorating the maiden voyage of Semester at Sea, then known as the University of the Seven Seas, as it departed from the New York harbor. The MS Seven Seas floating campus circumnavigated the globe, traveling 21,678 nautical miles and stopping at 22 ports.
Student enjoy a game of cards next to one of many Then and Now displays that have been installed throughout the ship. This display featuring Shipboard Life reflects the fact that students still enjoy similar activities 50 years later.
Semester at Sea students have always been proud to sport their SAS gear, such as this cap from the S.S. Universe.
This is an original catalog from 1963 outlining the university, courses, mission and ports of call.
Throughout the halls of the MV Explorer, many historical photos from the inaugural 1963 voyage are displayed to help connect current students to the experiences of those who came before them.
This line from “Off to Sea-The World,” the Alma Mater of Semester at Sea by John M. Rosenburg, demonstrates the lasting impact that students still experience today.


  1. monica joyi
    September 2, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Between March 1972 and 1979, my brother and I met black students from the Semester at Sea program, and we took them to our home, and showed them around Cape Town. We had read in the local daily, The Cape Times, in 1965, how black American students were afraid to leave the ship because of apartheid. We decided that if the ship came again, we would meet all the black students and bring them to our home. I am still in touch with some of them, and as recently as July 2013, I was with Angela Nelson Cook (November 1972), in Washington, DC, and, Ralph Ferguson (March 1972 and 1974) left a voice mail message on my phone in June 2013. We had many reunion gatherings in Los Angeles in 1977 and 1981, and in recent visits to the US, I have visited with Cathy Runnels (1972), Ralph Ferguson (1972), and spoken to Sharon Connor (1975), and James Chitty (1973), who was part of the film crew: James and his wife regularly travel to South Africa. Other names I remember are Sylvia Yancey, Howard Denton, Kenny Stephens, Bernie Williams, Luther Forrester, Sharon Connor, Philemon Kendricks, and Victor Jackson. Congratulations on your 50th!!!

  2. Denise M. Sheridan
    October 3, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Hi Monica,
    I was one of the students you & Steve hosted in 1975 with Phil & Sharon, Michael Clark, my sister Cheryl & her now husband of 36 years, Mark Keyser & others. I returned to South Africa this past July as one of the artists featured in a book & art quilt exhibition in honor of Nelson Mandela; but I was not able to locate you or Steve during my stay. My quilt was based on photos of you & Steve hosting us nearly 40 years ago. Steve wrote to me in 2005 but the letter did not get to me until my mother forwarded it after Sharon sent it to her. I would love to reconnect with you & Steve. Your influence on me transformed my life… Warmest Regards, Denise (Dowden – Maiden name) (Campbell – Widowed name)

  3. monica joyi
    October 14, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Hello Denise: great phone-visit with you today: looking forward to seeing you either in South Africa, or the US! Please say hello to Michael, Cheryl, and Mark. We send you warm and summery weather from good ole’ Cape Town.

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