Semester at Sea’s monthly donor highlight series continues with a longtime Semester at Sea faculty member who championed diversity on the ship and cross-cultural understanding in-country. Dr. Bob Weigl, who passed away due to leukemia in his home in Alexandria, Virginia in February at the age of 75, spent a lifetime creating and encouraging intercultural connections, and shared his passion with Semester at Sea students, Lifelong Learners, and fellow faculty members over the course of four voyages.
Dr. Weigl sailed as a faculty member and mental health counselor on four Semester at Sea voyages ‚Äî Spring 1985 and 1996, Summer 2008, and Fall 2012 ‚Äî each time accompanied by his wife and fellow faculty member, Gail. In 2003, he created what was then called the Weigl Diversity Endowed Scholarship Fund, with the goal of increasing ethnic and cultural diversity on each Semester at Sea Voyage. In 2017, however, he asked that the scholarship fund be changed to something more representative of the fund and his personal mission: to educate young adults and increase cross-cultural understanding. The fund lives on as the Semester at Sea Diversity Scholarship (more information about the fund can be found here).
Gail shared with Semester at Sea that Bob was extremely passionate about teaching students about other cultures ‚Äî something that came to life during his first voyage with Semester at Sea.
Outside of Semester at Sea, Dr. Weigl worked as a therapist and mental health administrator for over 40 years and taught cross-cultural psychology at Georgetown, George Washington, and George Mason University. He also lectured at Kyoto (Japan) University.
Bob is survived by his wife Gail, son Ted, and grandchildren Grace and Jack Weigl of Madison, WI, son Seth of Alexandria, VA, brother Peter and sister Nina Weigl of Winston Salem, NC, sister Nancy Sprague of Blue Hill, ME, brother-in-law the Reverend George Westerberg of Fryberg, ME, and many loving friends and colleagues.
Learn more about the Semester at Sea Diversity Scholarship Fund below.