Consider Designating Dalat in Your Will

by Mark Overgaard, class of 1967

Dalat changed the trajectory of my life. When I arrived in Vietnam to start the second semester of 9th grade at Dalat in 1964, it was my 15th (!) school. My parents were missionaries with WEC International in Thailand. I had multiple schools in Thailand; then we spent several years in North America, with frequent relocations, often across the continent.

Though Dalat moved across three countries during my time there, it was a haven of stability for me. Dalat provided opportunities for me to excel in academics, sports, and student activities; high school in America would likely have been a very different experience. I’m grateful for the life skills I learned at Dalat and the lifelong friendships I made there, among both students and staff.

After a successful career in computer and software technology, leveraging the leadership and communication skills I honed first at Dalat, I’m now retired. I’ve adopted photography as my retirement passion (that’s a photo of me, below). It has been rewarding to travel the world, connecting with its wildlife and cultures, sharing the resulting stories and images. You can browse through some of those results at

View Mark's work at

Galleries that might be especially interesting include those for my 2014 trips to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos; my 2015 trip to Borneo (during which I visited Dalat campus in Penang for the first time); and my four most recent exhibits.

That 2015 visit to Penang brought home how much has changed since my days in Tanah Rata. The student body is several times larger, with kids of missionary families still an important minority, but with large numbers of other international and Malaysian students. Dalat is playing an important role for education in Southeast Asia, especially for third culture kids like I was. To support the continuation and deepening of that role, my wife Bonnie and I decided to include Dalat International School in our will.

Are you grateful for your time at Dalat? How would your life have been different without that start? You can act on your gratitude and help future generations of students by designating Dalat to receive some of your financial legacy. Email Development Director Cheryl Franceschi if you would like to know more details at

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