Professor Desmond Tutu at Sea

Desmond Tutu recently stated that he would be retiring from public life. This may be true, but before he goes into a quiet retirement he will be sailing with Semester at Sea with the University of Virginia.

Desmond Tutu to Sail with Semester at Sea Program for Entire Fall Semester

From UVAToday’s News Release

August 24, 2010 — Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu is sailing around the world with Semester at Sea this fall with more than 600 college students and a 35-member faculty appointed by the University of Virginia.

Tutu, 78, serving as senior statesman in residence, will help launch the first Desmond Tutu Distinguished Chair in Global Understanding, a program established to honor his lifelong contributions to global awareness and intercultural understanding.

“I have had the good fortune to be a small part of a wonderful experiment in education called Semester at Sea,” said Tutu, who received the Nobel in 1984 for his work to end apartheid in South Africa. “The mission of this grand experiment has been to foster greater intercultural understanding by exposing its participants – young and old, students and faculty – to people and cultures around the world, while providing them with a sea-going classroom in which to study and absorb what they’ve seen and learned.”

Semester at Sea, based in Charlottesville, is the oldest shipboard comparative education program in the world. U.Va. is the program’s academic sponsor.

Tutu will board the MV Explorer, the 590-foot passenger ship that serves as Semester at Sea’s floating university, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Friday and travel to Cadiz, Spain; Casablanca, Morocco; Takoradi, Ghana; Cape Town, South Africa; Port Louis, Mauritius; Chennai, India; Singapore; Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam; Hong Kong / Shanghai, China; Yokohama / Kobe, Japan; and Honolulu / Hilo, Hawaii, before returning to San Diego on Dec. 13.

During his more than 100-day journey, Tutu will lecture in the requisite Global Studies course, facilitate a reflection and discussion session after the community’s stop in South Africa, and introduce colleague and long-time acquaintance Judith A. Mayotte as the inaugural Distinguished Chair in Global Understanding.

And, do check out the brief youtube video from Tutu’s last journey with Semester at Sea in which he describes the theology of Ubuntu.

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  1. Rod Gillis

    Halifax, the point of departure. How very cool!

  2. The Rev. Lark Stephenson-Diaz from the Diocese of San Diego, and the Rev. Dr. Donna McNiel, from the Diocese of San Joaquin, are also sailing on the Fall 2010 voyage!

    I’m going to be raising funds for Nets for Life as we sail the 21,000 nautical miles around the globe. If you’d like to make a donation go to and put “Nets at Sea” in the business info line!

  3. Susannah Clark

    I love this man so much 🙂

    One of my all-time heroes of faith and humanity.

  4. Hi there, this is Dave Perks, director of social media for Semester at Sea. I just wanted to drop a quick comment and thank you for posting about Desmond Tutu sailing with us this semester.

    Also, if you or any of your readers would be interested in hearing Bishop Tutu’s address to the parents from the night before the voyage departed, here’s a link to our site where you can download it as a podcast.

    His talk was about 8 minutes long and full of his humor and insight. We will be posting more podcasts of his lectures throughout the voyage, as well. Thanks again and we hope you’ll follow along!

Comments are closed.