A student leader, Koellmer strives for every opportunity
to succeed at MMA and beyond.
Why did you choose Marine Engineering Technology (MET) as your major?
When searching for a major, it was important to me to find something that I could apply in more ways than one, and the B.S. degree in Mariner Engineering Technology presents many career paths to take upon graduation.
Aside from the shipping industry, MET allows me to take my skills shoreside when I want to settle down. But first, I intend to obtain my third assistant engineering license and pursue a career in shipping.
You’re on the football team. What do you enjoy most about playing for the Mariners?
I’ve always had a love for the game, and to be able to continue playing for another four years is very special to me. I enjoy having a group of people to grow with during my experience at MMA. Playing has also taught me skills in leadership and teamwork that I highly value.
What motivated you to become a stryker in the Regiment of Midshipmen?
When I became a sophomore, I chose to be a stryker to help the freshmen coming in to MMA learn and grow, as school is a challenging environment to succeed in with no guidance. I enjoyed getting to know the freshman football players and help them balance football and the regiment during my time as a stryker.
What about MMA do you value most?
I value the opportunities and connections gained in my four years here and those to come after graduation. I believe the extensive network of MMA graduates will be a great benefit, not only to me but my peers as well, as we look to succeed in our jobs and life.
How are you managing the cost of attending MMA?
Since I am from New Hampshire, I qualify for the regional discount, which is helpful financially. I have also taken out loans, applied for scholarships, and worked for the Athletics Department as a part of my work-study.
What does receiving the Bulger Family Scholarship mean to you?
It is an honor to receive the scholarship because it helps lift the financial burden of school for my family and me. As a student, paying for school is difficult, and every bit of support I get is beneficial in the long run.
What would you say to encourage others to consider donating to create scholarships for MMA?
I believe scholarships bestow many benefits to students during college, and beyond, I think there is no better way to support Maine Maritime Academy. Scholarships are much appreciated as they can help a student afford college when he or she otherwise may not be able to attend. Scholarships also significantly impact families in their efforts to educate their children.
What personal values do you hold as most important?
I have always held honesty and hard work as fundamental personal values. I like to think of myself as someone who will always give 100 percent, and I believe it shows to those around me who I am as a person. I also think while it may be difficult, it is always essential to be honest in all situations.█
Capt. Winfred “Sam” Bulger USNR ’59
What brought you to MMA?
I was born in Rumford, Maine and grew up in South Portland. My mother was a school teacher, and my father worked at a shipyard building Liberty Ships for World War II. I came to MMA because of my interest in ships and desire to receive a Navy commission.
After graduating as a deck officer, you became a Naval Aviator. You’ve seen a lot of the world.
When I left active duty, I flew as a pilot for United Airlines for 31 years until 1998—DC-8s, DC-10s, B-747s. I became an instructor pilot and check pilot. During much of that time, I also flew in the Navy Reserve and retired as a captain.
From 1995-2004, I flew a DC-10 as a volunteer pilot for Project Orbis. The plane served as an eye hospital, and we took it to developing nations across the globe, where they taught local doctors and nurses eye surgical procedures.
Post-retirement, I did simulator flight training and FAA checks.
I had a fulfilling career, in no small part due to the support of my wife Jean and our three children. I live in Colorado, where I’ve enjoyed world-class skiing and mountain climbing.
What inspired you to create the Sam Bulger Family Scholarship Fund?
While working with the MMA Development Office on our class 50th Anniversary gift (the steps in front of Leavitt Hall) I became interested in creating a scholarship and started one 11 years ago. It’s absolutely the best way to give back to the school because it’s so expensive compared to our days.
Ask me why, and I’ll tell you that it makes me feel good.█
How Can You Help
Please contact Christopher Haley, V.P. for Institutional Advancement to learn more or create a scholarship: 207-326-2232; firstname.lastname@example.org. See more about how scholarships open doors at openingdoors.mainemaritime.edu.
Photos: Billy R. Sims & courtesy of Sam Bulger
This is the third in a series of profiles of scholarship recipients and campaign donors and volunteers involved in the goal of raising $20 million for an endowed scholarship program. Currently, $19.3 million has been raised.