2014 Founders Week: A Friend of a Founder

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lhanson
Oct 22, 2014


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Education, History

2014 Founders Week: A Friend of a Founder

Lifelong learner, Raymond Ho, stands in front of his family friend and program's founder C.Y. Tung.
Lifelong learner, Raymond Ho, stands in front of his family friend and program’s founder C.Y. Tung.

What’s your Semester at Sea story? With Founders Day coming up tomorrow, members of the current shipboard community were challenged with what this celebration means to them. The Fall 2014 shipboard community was lucky to have one voyager who was there from the start of it all. A five-time Semester at Sea participant, Raymond Ho, first learned of shipboard education from the program’s founder C.Y. Tung himself.

Ho relaxes in his favorite chair on the ship, as he enjoys watching members of the shipboard community pass by throughout the academic day.
Ho relaxes in his favorite chair on the ship, as he enjoys watching members of the shipboard community pass by throughout the academic day.

In 1963, Ho visited the MS Seven Seas with Tung during its first trip to Hong Kong. Tung was a friend of his fathers and knew of Ho’s love of ships. Not yet involved with the program, Tung was invited alongside other local businessmen in the shipping industry. Ho remembers touring the facilities as a high school student, being in awe of the program and the ship. Upon returning from this tour passionately sharing what he experienced, Ho’s father agreed that he too could participate in the program one day.

After traveling to the United States for college, Ho lost touch with C.Y. Tung and his family. He lost sight of the program as well and did not reconnect with it until he heard about it through friends years later. Sparking such a great memory, Ho knew he had to embark on this unique opportunity even though he had already graduated many years earlier.

In Fall 1995, Ho set sail on one of the last voyages for the SS Universe. While exploring his new floating home, he came across a portrait in the library that looked just a bit familiar. When he inquired who the individual was, Ho was informed that was one of the program’s founders C.Y. Tung. Much aged from when he had visited him last, Ho almost did not recognize the man who had brought him to the ship over 30 years prior. His own Semester at Sea journey had come full circle before even pulling out of the port.

Sailing on a ship provided by Tung, Ho watched the founder’s beliefs and ideals come to life. Tung’s mission that “Ships could transport more than cargo, they could carry ideas” now had a whole new meaning to him. As he sailed around the world, he felt completely at home and was able to embrace his love of the sea. “I enjoy the sea days more than the port ones. I just like the sea,” said Ho. As a lifelong learner he engaged in the educational aspect of the experience as well. Studying engineering in college, he really lacked any room for elective courses. Semester at Sea became his chance for a voyage of discovery. He added, “I can take classes I never took in college.”

Since then Ho has explored the world as a lifelong learner and has sailed on the SS Universe, SS Universe Explorer, and the current MV Explorer. With a passion to continue his explorations he anticipates this is not the end for him and Semester at Sea. He concluded, “Yes, I definitely will be on the new ship.”

Photos by: Joshua Gates Weisberg

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One Comment

  1. Carol Baker & Iain Campbell
    October 25, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    What a wonderful story about Raymond Ho. It expresses the feelings and hopes of all who have experienced the magic of SAS . We agree that the time at sea is as rich as the time in port. Glorious sunrises and sunsets, green flashes, flying fish, whales and dolphins, magnificent starry skies – all are a wonderful addition to the experiential learning in port that is unique to this program.
    From fellow Summer 2008 voyagers, thank you Jessica. Carol and Iain

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