A voyage with Marvin Creamer: Celebration to honor prof's record-setting voyage, raise scholarship funds for Rowan students

On Saturday, March 23, the University’s College of Humanities & Social Sciences (CHSS) will host “A Voyage with Marvin Creamer,” an event that will raise scholarship funds for deserving Rowan students and celebrate the epic voyage around the world by Creamer 30 years ago.

Thirty years ago, Marvin Creamer set off from Cape May to circumnavigate the globe via sailboat. The retired Rowan University professor used only the stars, wind, water currents—and his scholarly knowledge of geography—to find his way. He didn’t even use a watch or compass on his 514-day, 30,000-mile journey.

Today, at age 97, Creamer remains the only person to sail around the world without the use of artificial navigational tools. On Saturday, March 23, the University’s College of Humanities & Social Sciences (CHSS) will pay tribute to Creamer’s epic feat with “A Voyage with Marvin Creamer,” an event that will honor the 30th anniversary of his voyage and raise scholarship funds for deserving Rowan students.

The event runs from noon-4 p.m. at the River Winds Restaurant, 1075 River Winds Drive, West Deptford. Tickets are $65 per person and can be ordered by contacting Alumni Relations at 856-256-5400 or visiting rowan.edu/alumni. A special VIP package, which is limited to 40 guests, includes an open bar reception and hors d’oeuvres with Creamer prior to the luncheon. Tickets for the VIP package are $100.

Proceeds from the afternoon will benefit the Marvin Creamer Scholarship for a student in Rowan’s Department of Geography and Environment “who exemplifies intellectual curiosity and a spirit of adventure”—the same qualities that fueled Creamer’s epic voyage aboard his ship, the Globe Star, according to CHSS Dean Cindy Vitto.

“We’re gathering to celebrate Marv’s incredible journey—both as captain of the Globe Star and as a 97-year-old who continues to lead a rich, active life,” Vitto says. “He will talk about his journey and treat us to an accompanying photo presentation so that we can vicariously enjoy the thrill of his adventure.”

A 1943 graduate of Glassboro State College (now Rowan), Creamer was a geography professor at the University for almost three decades until his retirement in 1977 at age 68. Five years later, he set sail from Cape May aboard the 36-foot Globe Star, looking to fulfill a dream he’d had since age 17 to circumnavigate the globe without the use of navigational tools.

He left on Dec. 21, 1982 and returned on May 18, 1984.

Today, Creamer, who lives in Pine Knoll Shores, N.C. after years in Glassboro, remains an active sailor. He’s received numerous honors, including the coveted Blue Water Medal, sailing’s highest honor, from the Cruising Club of America. In 1989, he was inducted into Cruising World’s Hall of Fame.

Last fall, Creamer donated the navigational logs from his trip to the Frank H. Stewart Room at Rowan’s Campbell Library, ensuring that the day-to-day chronicles of his trip will be available to future generations of historians and students.

For information about Creamer’s journey, visit www.rowan.edu/geography/creamer or www.globestar.org.

Corporate sponsorship opportunities—at Mainsail, Spinnaker, Drifter, Genoa, and Yankee levels—are available for “A Voyage With Marvin Creamer.” For information on sponsorships, contact Deanne Farrell, 856-256-5418 or farrelld@rowan.edu.

Last semester, Creamer urged Rowan students to follow their passions.

“Pursue your interests and don’t be afraid to dig deeply,” he told a geography class, “because the pursuit of your own interests will always educate you and lead to your own success.”