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Announcement of New ISE President and CEO

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Communications Coordinator
May 27, 2020


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Announcement of New ISE President and CEO

Dr. Ransdell welcomes students during Fall 2018 Voyage embarkation.

Gary Ransdell, President of the Institute for Shipboard Education and Semester at Sea, will retire from his post on May 31, 2020. Dr. Ransdell and his leadership were celebrated by the Institute of Shipboard Education’s Board of Trustees during their May meeting on May 18, 2020.

Dr. Ransdell officially joined Semester at Sea on January 1, 2018. Prior to his service as President/CEO, he was a member of the SAS Board of Trustees from 2013-2017. During his tenure with Semester at Sea, he worked tirelessly to improve and expand alumni relations and fundraising efforts for the non-profit program. Beginning with his multi-state tour to various alumni events around the country, the “Gary Goes Global” series engaged alumni and friends with the mission and purpose of Semester at Sea. With Gary at the helm of Semester at Sea, the program successfully fundraised nearly $30M in pledges and gifts to support scholarships, professorships and programmatic support.

Dr. Ransdell chats with alumni during a Gary Goes Global event at Chapman University.

During his time as President/CEO, Dr. Ransdell oversaw the successful completion of four voyages that served over 1500 students. Under his leadership, Semester at Sea made new scholarship and service programs available to students, including the IMPACT scholarship, which gave qualified scholars the opportunity to assist NGO organizations around the world as part of their academic program.

As Board Chair Tom Hudnut has noted, “Gary’s insights into higher education, his expertise in fundraising, and his emphasis on the importance of building relationships with other educational entities and prospective donors proved critical in ISE’s growth. He was the right person in the right place at the right time and we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude.”

Dr. Ransdell came to Semester at Sea after serving as President of Western Kentucky University for 20 years. He and his wife, Julie, are looking forward to a more relaxed pace, spending time with their children and grandchildren, and returning to the Florida beaches. Gary’s warm personality and passion for global education served the Institute of Shipboard Education well.

As Dr. Ransdell reflected on his leadership at the Institute, he conveyed the importance of the Semester at Sea mission and gratitude to the Semester at Sea community.

“It has been a distinct honor to serve Semester at Sea in multiple roles over the last eight years. SAS is critical to higher education in the U.S. and beyond, and must be sustained. My passion for our unique global learning model will always remain strong, as will the friendships I’ve made with colleagues, benefactors and the many students, alumni and crew I’ve been fortunate to know. Thank you to everyone in the Semester at Sea family for contributing to such an important chapter in my life.”

New ISE President/CEO Dr. Scott Marshall addresses students on the Fall 2019 Voyage.

Semester at Sea will now be led by newly named President/Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Scott Marshall, who has been with the organization since September 2017. Dr. Marshall served as the Vice President for Academics prior to his promotion and sailed as a faculty member on the Spring 2017 Voyage, teaching Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship, International Business Management, and Social and Sustainable Enterprises.

To learn more about ISE leadership, see here.

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