All Hands on Deck - Capital Campaign for Semester at Sea




“The most important factor that gives me confidence in

the future of Semester at Sea, however, is our passionate

and engaged alumni base.”

Greetings Semester at Sea

Alumni and Friends,

We hope this message finds you safe,

happy, and healthy during this time

of global upheaval.

I am proud and excited to launch our

first-ever comprehensive fundraising

campaign, ong>Allong> ong>Handsong> on Deck — The

Campaign for Semester at Sea. The

success of the ong>Allong> ong>Handsong> on Deck

campaign will ensure the strength

of our endowment, reinforce

programmatic support for our

global education curriculum, and

contribute to ongoing scholarship

initiatives. As the name of the

campaign suggests, we will need all

of our amazing network of Semester

at Sea alumni, friends, and family

during this campaign. Please join us

to ensure that our program remains

strong and ready to help shape future

generations of global citizens.

Like other institutions around the

world, Semester at Sea finds itself in

a position to step back and evaluate

the health and sustainability of our

global learning model. Fortunately,

the long-term outlook of our

organization is strong — enrollments

for future voyages are high, our staff

remains wholeheartedly committed,

and our academic partner, Colorado

State University, has been stalwart in

its support during this turbulent time.

The most important factor that

gives me confidence in the future

of Semester at Sea, however, is our

passionate and engaged alumni base.

You, who have sailed and understand

the importance and impact of our

comparative study abroad model,

are what give me optimism as we

push forward into a world with new

challenges, as well as promising


We hope you will join us in our ong>Allong>

ong>Handsong> on Deck campaign, and I thank

you for your support of Semester at Sea.

With gratitude and best wishes,

Scott Marshall, Ph.D.

President & Chief Executive Officer


Unrestricted Support







Inspire, engage, and transform

future generations of voyagers —

individuals who are compassionate




Faculty &

Staff Support




and committed to changing the world.

In support of the campaign priorities listed above, our primary goal is to raise new

funds for need-based and merit scholarships so that all qualified students who want

to experience Semester at Sea are able to do so. We also are committed to doubling

Semester at Sea’s endowment from $2.8 million to $6 million to ensure that the

program serves future generations. During these unprecedented times, we recognize

the immediate need for unrestricted support in order to weather any unexpected

challenges. Finally, support for faculty and staff and programmatic enhancements

will allow us to provide unparalleled educational experiences.

“Be a part

of this



to ensure

that Semester

at Sea’s

future will

be brighter

than ever.”

Dear Semester

at Sea Family,

It is an honor to announce Semester

at Sea’s ong>Allong> ong>Handsong> on Deck campaign,

the first comprehensive fundraising

campaign in the organization’s 57-year

history. We have set an ambitious goal

of $50 million, and I am confident that

with your generosity we can surpass

that amount.

Like the rest of our global community,

Semester at Sea is navigating the

challenges presented by a pandemic.

In my role as Campaign Chair, I vow

to continue steering the ship through

these rough seas and offer you this

assurance: there has never been a

better time to support Semester at

Sea and our program’s life-changing

academic experience.

Your support of ong>Allong> ong>Handsong> on Deck will

increase funding for programmatic

and scholarship support, enlarge our

endowment, and continue our mission

of preparing students to succeed

in an increasingly complex and

interconnected global society.

I appreciate the hard work of the

Advancement team, the leadership

of President and CEO Scott Marshall

and former President and CEO Gary

Ransdell, and the Board of Trustees

for their engagement and dedication.

A special thanks to the ong>Allong> ong>Handsong>

on Deck Campaign Committee for

their unwavering commitment to

Semester at Sea.

I hope that you’ll join us and be a part

of this incredible opportunity. With

all hands on deck, we can ensure

that Semester at Sea’s future will be

brighter than ever.

With gratitude,

Erin Anderson,

SP87, SU09, SP10, FA12

ong>Allong> ong>Handsong> on Deck Campaign Chair






When a close friend shared her

son’s experiences from his

Semester at Sea voyage – and the

incredible bond he formed with many of

the adult passengers known as Lifelong

Learners – Nancy Tietge’s interest in

the program was piqued.

She quickly began to check off other

positives about this possible adventure.

Raised in Newport Beach, California,

Tietge loved the ocean. “I also love being

around energetic, enthusiastic college

students and being intellectually

challenged. And spending five or six

days rather than an hour in each

port? This was the perfect fit.”

Tietge’s maiden voyage in

fall 2010 was followed by an

Enrichment Voyage in 2013 and a

partial voyage in summer 2014,

and her passion for the program

blossomed. “I walked off the ship

smiling and feeling fulfilled.”

But then reality struck. “I went from

being completely engaged to coming home

to an empty house. That was difficult.”

So Tietge became involved with Semester

Fred Benneh (SU14), Nancy, and Levix Aloo

(SP19), the first Tutu Ubuntu Scholarship

recipient, reconnecting in San Diego.

Enjoying the wonders of Mexico

during a “bucket list” train trip

through Copper Canyon.

at Sea in another way by joining the Lifelong

Learning Council, which she co-chaired until

January 2019. She stepped aside from that

role to join the Spring 2019 Voyage. Again,

she found rewards. “I spent more time the

first week of the voyage with professors than

I had during four years at college. I took their

classes, ate meals with them, and learned

about their areas of expertise. It made me

realize that there is more to education than

simply books and lectures.”

Through these classes, perspectives are

changed, she says. “My Semester at Sea

experiences changed my thinking and outlook.

You visit different countries not as a tourist

but as a traveler. You truly get to experience

the culture and the people, whether through

service projects or a homestay. You also

appreciate how privileged our country is, and

it changes your attitude.”

Semester at Sea is a means of offering

students and adult voyagers from all walks

of life a chance to grow and expand their

views, she says. “It’s a transformational global

experience which, now more than ever, is

important and necessary.”

Other voyage experiences influenced Tietge’s

life, reigniting her philanthropic passion. In

2010, Archbishop Desmond Tutu sailed for

the entire voyage. She and the Archbishop

participated in a panel on aging for a class.

“We were to share what we learned as we aged.

He shared his realization about post-apartheid

South Africa, saying that it’s easy to tear things

apart and far more challenging to build up

something better in its place. That stayed with

me. He was a calming, comforting presence for

all of us.”

Tietge’s desire to give back to Semester

at Sea grew. “I have a family who believes

in scholarships and giving back,” she says.

So when Tietge returned to California, she

created the Desmond Tutu “Ubuntu” Endowed

Scholarship Fund to honor the Archbishop

and to bring students from the continent

of Africa on a Semester at Sea voyage.

“The term Ubuntu is an African Zulu word,

meaning roughly, ‘I am because you are.’ The

Archbishop taught that concept on the voyage,

and it resonates for me and reminds me of the

global interconnectedness of all of us.”

Tietge established the fund with a lead

gift and has since inspired more than 230

other donors to contribute to this endowed

scholarship. She also encourages Semester at

Sea alumni to support the “Ubuntu” Fund (she

provides a generous match on the Archbishop’s

birthday each year) or another fund for

which they’re passionate. “It’s worth getting

involved with programs and charities that are

important to you,” she says. “You don’t have

to give a lot to make a significant difference in

the lives of others.”

Tietge offers a suggestion for newly

disembarked alumni. “If you can give $25 a

year, and if each of your fellow voyagers did the

same, it could open the door for other students

to have the opportunity to sail.”






For Cindy Zomchek and Jim Shirley,

Semester at Sea (SAS) represents

more than a voyage or vacation cruise.

It has been and continues to be a way of

life and a family affair.

Zomchek initially learned about SAS

when she was a resident hall director at

the University of San Francisco in 1984.

“I went to a regional conference and

overheard two people talking about this

program that offered a voyage around

the world, and I asked them to tell me

more. My interest was piqued, so I

applied the next year, and got hired

as a resident director for the Fall

1986 Voyage.”

“From the moment I saw the

ship and sailed on that voyage, I

have been involved. I fell in love

with this program and it changed

my perspective and gave added value to

my whole world,” Zomchek says. After her

initial voyage in 1986, Zomchek accepted the

Director of Student Life position in fall 1993.

Zomchek and Jim Shirley married in 1999

and the SAS bug got him, too, he says. “Cindy

was already involved with SAS and it was

The Maine sunset provides a beautiful

backdrop at the wedding of SAS

alumna Ann Nora Ehret.

Jim and Cindy up close and personal

with an elephant in Thailand.

clearly her passion. I was sad that, in my

college days, I never considered studying

abroad. SAS presented a new approach to

life for me.” So he and Cindy encouraged

Jim’s oldest daughter Courtney (who was

in her early 20’s) to sail on the Fall 1999

“Road Rules” Voyage before graduating from

college. Jim signed up for his initial trip as

a partial voyager in spring 2000. “I hadn’t

traveled much before then, but it was evident

that a strong community was being built on

that ship, and I was hooked.”

“Just after Courtney returned from her

voyage, Jim’s youngest daughter Addie,

who was 13 at the time, sailed with me as

a dependent,” Zomchek recalls. “We felt

it was important for the girls to broaden

their horizons and experience firsthand the

program we were so passionate about.”

Shirley appreciated what his daughters

experienced. “It was the safest environment

for them and my 13-year-old daughter

blossomed more on the voyage than any

other time in her life. The crew adopts

everyone on the ship as their family and goes

above and beyond to create professional

relationships that show the voyagers are

cared for. My daughters both felt that.”

Zomchek continued as a staff member

on several voyages, taking on the role

of Director of Student Life and Dean of

Students with additional voyages in spring

2000, spring 2004, summer 2005, fall 2008,

and spring 2010. Zomchek most recently

served as Lifelong Learning Coordinator

in spring 2015. But, even when she wasn’t in a

paid position, she understood the importance

of giving back as a volunteer, a donor, or as an

active member of the alumni boards. She credits

Shirley for her continuing efforts. “Collectively,

I was away for the equivalent of more than two

years on voyages while he managed our home

front. Without Jim’s support, I couldn’t have

sailed on any of those voyages.”

Shirley says it was easy because of the value

SAS provides. “It opens people’s minds and

creates a cross-cultural awareness, as opposed

to our narrow view in our own little world. It’s

life-changing to be able to experience so many

different cultures and perspectives. I’m an old

construction guy and very conservative, so this

was an eye opener for me. Semester at Sea is the

true definition of a global community.”

Zomchek and Shirley have brought several of

their nine grandchildren to the ship and hope

they’ll choose to sail on voyages in the future.

They also remain committed to providing

financial support to SAS along the way. Their

plan is to continue that effort in a meaningful

way, Shirley says. “An important part of our

estate planning is the creation of scholarship

options that will last.”

Zomchek agrees. “Everybody I’ve sailed with

generally says SAS is one of the most lifechanging,

impactful experiences they’ve ever

had. It creates understanding and a human

connection that is invaluable in our world today.

We want others to have the means to enjoy this

incredible opportunity.”






IIn the fall of 1989, Chris Sinfield embarked

on his maiden voyage with Semester at

Sea. “We sailed out of Vancouver, British

Columbia direct to Kobe, Japan. It was a start

to an incredible journey around the world and

we had such a wonderful group of students

and faculty.”

The program’s structure fit Chris’ academic

needs. The value of Semester at Sea is that it

exposes students to an incredible journey of

exploring different cultures around the world.

When you’re on the ship, you learn about each

country you’ll be visiting and when you get to

port you then put to use what you learned on

the ship. You learn about so many different

cultures, but more importantly, the people

you meet on a day-to-day basis allows for so

many life lessons that you can’t replicate in

a normal college setting. The world is your

campus and there is not a better way to see

the world than from your home which is a

floating university.”

Today, Chris still sees the benefits from

his voyage. “We explored the world and

learned about so many people and their

cultures, which has helped me tremendously

in my career. I sell commercial real estate

and deal with all types of people from all over

the world. What I learned during my voyage

has allowed me to work successfully with

individuals from all walks of life.”

The Sinfield family enjoying time in

the Caribbean. (L to R: Max, Savannah,

Chris, Karen, Ava, and Colton)

Chris (FA 89) and Savannah (FA19)

reuniting in San Diego after the

Fall 2019 Voyage.

Chris also has maintained lasting friendships

from that voyage. “Five or six of us get together

regularly. We relive stories of our student

experience, talk about life on board the SS

Universe and the impact of that journey on

our lives.”

It was such a transformative event in his

life that he wanted to share that with others

and ensure that the program will be around

for future generations. “I told my wife, Karen,

that Semester at Sea had to be a part of all our

children’s college experiences and I absolutely

wanted our daughter, Savannah, to sail when

she was old enough.”

Savannah Sinfield remembers that clearly.

“My dad started making the case when I was

seven. When I started college, he encouraged

me to go, but I really wanted to graduate first.”

After graduation, Savannah found Semester

at Sea was open to post graduates and, in the

fall of 2019, she took the leap. “I was pretty

intimidated. I had never been away from

home more than a few weeks. And now I was

in a totally unfamiliar setting. There was no

cell phone service for a lot of the time so I

couldn’t talk to people in my comfort zone.

I couldn’t rely on anyone other than myself

and my ability to make friends. I was excited,

nervous, scared. I missed my family but, after

the first few days, it started to feel like home.

The faculty became my family. The closeness

of a shipboard community is unlike anything

else. There’s something about floating on a

ship in the middle of the ocean. It’s more than

just traveling. That’s certainly an essential

component but being part of that community

makes it so special and unique.”

The voyage was exactly what Savannah

needed. “It was the perfect bridge for me to

soul search and figure out what I wanted to do

next. Here was a complete chance to reassess,

and I’m so lucky I was fortunate enough to

have the opportunity and support to do so. I

was able to learn so much about myself, as I

rediscovered my love of music, dance, and art,

and connected with people who reminded me

of those creative parts of myself.”

Savannah studied journalism at the

University of Southern California but wasn’t

sure that was the career path she wanted to

follow. “I was confused. Was I sure I wanted

to commit to news? At some point during

Semester at Sea I even thought about pursuing

acting or music. I changed my mind a lot, but

found incredible support among my friends no

matter what my life plan of the day was along

with pure warmth and kindness from students,

professors, and crew members on my voyage.”

Self-reflection aboard the World Odyssey

brought her reality into focus, she says. “At the

end of the day, I came full circle, realizing I

wanted to write, direct, and produce for news.

My on-ship journalism class and professor

helped remind me why I loved what I’d already

been doing, and my global experiences put into

perspective the impact I could have.”

After her voyage, Savannah applied for a job

with CBS News and is now a news associate

on the CBS National Desk. Her Semester at

Sea experience helped crystallize her career

ambitions and also changed her worldview.

“You realize that just because you’re not

used to different customs or a certain way

of life doesn’t mean they’re wrong; they are

just different. Every society and every life

has importance. ong>Allong> people are connected.

Anything anyone does affects life on Earth. We

must have respect for humanity and for the

planet on which we walk.”

Her dad wholeheartedly agrees and

said it drives him to continue providing

opportunities for others to sail through his

philanthropic support. “Because Semester at

Sea creates such a global view, I encourage

others to join in and help create possibilities

for future generations to have this lifechanging



The leadership phase of ong>Allong> ong>Handsong> on Deck



The Campaign for Semester at Sea began on December 1, 2017.

Since then, the momentum has grown to include:

11,447 campaign donors

2,467 new Semester at Sea donors

82 donors gifting $10,000 or more

38 new scholarships established



raised toward our goal of $50 million

*AS OF MAY 31, 2020

There are many ways for

you to support ong>Allong> ong>Handsong>

on Deck, and a number of gift

options offer significant tax

and income benefits. From

traditional cash gifts, pledges,

or charitable bequests to giving

your time and talent, your

contribution makes a difference.

This campaign is an opportunity

for all Semester at Sea alumni

and friends to come together

and ensure Semester at Sea

continues its mission of creating

global citizens who contribute

to and respect the world’s values,

practices, and cultures. Please


to make an impact today.





For questions about our capital campaign, please contact:

Audra K. Brickner

Chief External Affairs Officer and Vice President of Advancement


For questions about our capital campaign, please contact:

Audra K. Brickner

Vice President for Advancement


Special thanks to Semester at Sea’s Campaign Committee:

Erin Anderson, Shelley Galloway, Jeffrey Glazer, Ed. D., and John Tymitz

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