The Columns

All Aboard

— by on June 23rd, 2010

With its W&L Traveller program, the University’s Office of Special Programs tours the world, allowing alumni and other adventurers to explore countries from Vietnam to Turkey, cities from New Orleans to Madrid. What you may not know is that they also make a point of meeting up with other W&L sojourners while they are on the road—and have the photos to prove it.

This past January, the trip was Antarctica: Voyage to the Seventh Continent Aboard the Corinthian II. The guest lecturer was Ed Spencer, W&L’s Ruth Parmly Professor of Geology Emeritus (at right in photo). Ed is also a member of the Class of 1953. When the trip reached Ushuaia, Argentina, where they boarded a ship to cross the Drake Passage, Ed was delighted to have a brief reunion with Jesse Smith (center), Class of 2003, and Jesse’s dad, Herb Smith (left), undergraduate Class of 1964 and law Class of 1967.

Jesse and fellow alumni Frank Burnside (Class of 2004) and Willie Thompson (also 2004) are sailing around the world on board the Obelisk (http://www.svobelisk.com/). At the time, Herb was also on board his son’s ship. “When they saw that W&L had a trip to Antarctica planned, they contacted Rob Fure, director of Special Programs, who put them in touch with me,” says Ed, who taught geology to Jesse. “They found our ship and were waiting for our group to appear.”

And this past May, during a cruise of the Rhine and Moselle rivers, the group met up in the ancient town of Trier, Germany, with Dan Kramer, professor of German at W&L, and his 12 students. “We had planned to meet in Cologne but our boat was delayed,” says Susie Thompson, associate director of Special Programs. “So thanks to cell phones, we planned the Trier rendezvous, and it worked.”

To learn more about W&L Traveller, see http://www.wlu.edu/x10943.xml.