Last night on Thursday, October 19th, the Institute for Shipboard Education | Semester at Sea celebrated its 60th Anniversary with an extraordinary in-person event. The celebration took place in Colorado State University’s Lory Student Union and featured a stellar lineup of speakers, including Lynn Johnson, Vice Chair of ISE’s Board of Trustees, Scott Marshall, President and CEO of the Institute for Shipboard Education (ISE), Amy Parsons, President of Colorado State University, and acclaimed author and journalist Rachel Louise Snyder.
The event began with a warm welcome from Lynn Johnson, Vice Chair of ISE’s Board of Trustees and Chief Financial Officer for CSU STRATA. Lynn reflected on the history of Semester at Sea’s academic partnerships, sharing the honor of commemorating a 7-year partnership between Semester at Sea and Colorado State University, an institution she has served for close to 20 years.
Dr. Scott Marshall, the President and CEO of the Institute for Shipboard Education expressed his sincere gratitude to all the individuals who have been a part of the Semester at Sea program over the years and outlined the remarkable journey the organization has undertaken since its inception in 1963. He shared his recent interactions with several alumni who recounted personal stories from their voyages and how these experiences challenged them, opened their hearts and minds, and broadened their views. Scott stated, “That is what this program does. It changes lives. And by doing so, it changes the world for the better.
Following Scott Marshall’s remarks, the stage was graced by Amy Parsons, President of Colorado State University. She emphasized the importance of global education in today’s interconnected world and how Semester at Sea’s mission aligns with CSU’s commitment to providing students with a diverse and comprehensive educational experience. President Parsons noted, “Colorado State University is proud to be associated with Semester at Sea, an institution that has enriched the lives of countless students over the past six decades. We look forward to our continued collaboration and the opportunities it brings to our students.”
The highlight of the evening was the keynote address delivered by Rachel Louise Snyder. Rachel is a critically acclaimed author, journalist, and professor, known for her thought-provoking work on social justice, global issues, and interpersonal dynamics. Her powerful new memoir, Women We Buried, Women We Burned, includes a full chapter dedicated to her transformative experience on board. Her experiences with the program, she says, profoundly influenced her worldview and ignited her passion for exploring and addressing global challenges.
Rachel’s speech captivated the audience with her personal anecdotes, experiences, and wisdom about the power of international education and the Semester at Sea program. As an alumna of the program, she shared stories from her own voyage as a student (FA ’91) and how her experience on Semester at Sea shaped her understanding of the world. Rachel Louise Snyder said, “Travel not only shows us the world, it shows us who we are.”
The event was attended by alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of Semester at Sea, all of whom have contributed to the program’s success over the years. The celebration served as a momentous occasion to honor the organization’s history, renew commitments to global education, and inspire the next generation of voyagers.
Semester at Sea’s 60th Anniversary Celebration at Colorado State University was a testament to the program’s lasting impact and a reminder of the importance of global citizenship in an ever-changing world. The Institute for Shipboard Education looks forward to the next 60 years of providing students with “journeys of discovery that spark bold solutions to global challenges.