MMA Alumni Association Humanitarian Award

A longstanding maritime tradition, now enshrined in international convention and law, is the expectation and duty of a ship’s captain to render assistance to those in distress at sea without regard to their nationality, status or the circumstances in which they are discovered.

This tradition was codified by the International Maritime Organization in 1974 as part of the Safety Of Life At Sea (as amended), Regulation 33/1 –
“The master of a ship at sea which is in a position to be able to provide assistance on receiving information from any source that persons are in distress at sea, is bound to proceed with all speed to their assistance, if possible informing them or the search and rescue service that the ship is doing so. This obligation to provide assistance applies regardless of the nationality or status of such persons or the circumstances in which they are found” .

As a way of honoring the humanitarian efforts of MMA Alumni, the Alumni Association has created the Humanitarian Award and will serve to recognize other MMA Alumni who have distinguished themselves in the spirit of the long standing maritime tradition of coming to the aid of those in distress. It is hoped that this award will not only serve to recognize the outstanding efforts of our alumni, but to also serve as an inspiration to others who may someday find themselves in a situation where their involvement may prove critical to saving the lives of others.

This award is for individuals who have distinguished themselves by meritorious participation in an act, operation, or for prolonged service of a humanitarian nature directed toward an individual or groups of individuals. Documentation must provide evidence which substantiates their participation.

    • Nominee(s) shall be an individual who has graduated from Maine Maritime Academy.
    • Nominee(s) who personifies the spirit of humanitarian commitment, compassion, and impartial service to assist those in need or distress.
        Examples of qualifying criteria and deeds, at sea or ashore, include:

      1. Direct involvement in rescue and/or lifesaving efforts
      2. Dedication to improving the health and well-being of others
      3. Significant involvement with the preparation, prevention and/or response to natural and/or man-made disasters and emergency situations.

Nominees can be recognized as a result of a specific occurrence, or be recognized for their dedication and commitment to helping others over a prolonged period of time.


      • Nominations must be received in writing by the Alumni Office no later than June 30th of the calendar year.
      • A description of the award and an online, form-fillable nomination will be posted on the MMA Mariners Forever – Outstanding Alumnus webpage.
      • Separate letters (or online nomination forms) from at least two nominators shall be submitted that detail the nominees’ outstanding act, service or impact.
      • Corroborating information, to include news reports, articles, statements, affidavits or other substantive documentation shall be included to support the nomination.
      • The MMA Alumni Board of Directors reserves the right to request additional information, when deemed necessary.
      • Awards can be made posthumously.

Nomination Form

An Awards Committee of MMA Alumni Board of Directors shall make the final determination on all award nominations and reserves the right to consider each nominee for a different form of recognition, if deemed appropriate.


  • Class Agents and Office of Alumni Relations will communicate creation of the award and request for nominations through emails, Mariner, Shipmate, social media and the Alumni website.
  • A perpetual plaque will be on display with recipients’ names in the Wyman Alumni House.