Alumni News


Class Agents in Action

In April, john derose, from Katy, Texas , stepped up to be the Class Agent for the class of 1987. Through his diligence and persistence the class (shown above) had one of the largest turnouts of any of the Honor classes to attend Homecoming 2017.

The idea for the Class Agent alumni program was introduced in February by Shawn Longfellow ’86, Chair of the MMA Alumni Association Alumni Involvement Committee, as a way to generate interest, create a spirit of participation and, above all, increase contact with our alumni.

With cooperation from the Office of Alumni Relations, the Alumni Association launched a campaign to recruit Class Agents to serve as “go-to” individuals for each alumni class, as a means to improve communications among classmates and MMA, obtain accurate and complete alumni contact information, encourage alumni to engage with MMA through events and volunteerism, and reconnect with “lost” alumni.

In short, a Class Agent is a volunteer who helps maintain a peer-to-peer relationship within his/her class and serves as a liaison between classmates and MMA.

The response to the call was outstanding, for example:

“I graduated in ’46. If you are interested in having representation from my class, count me in!” —Monty Small

“I am interested in being considered for the Class Agent program for the Class of ’61. What can I do to help?”—Jerry Gotlieb

“I’d love to be part of your program…” —Mark Jenkinson ’74

“Count me in for the class of ’86” —Rod Fraser

“If you need someone for ’97, let me know.” —Scott Frost

To date, there are 73 Class Agents representing 57 of the 73 MMA classes. Though most classes have a single class agent, two classes have three agents, 1971 (Peter Longley, Ralph Staples, Tim Plummer) and 1998 (Josh Collamer, Jason Grabelle, Jeff Linton), nine classes have two agents, and 16 classes have yet to identify an agent.

Following an initial letter of introduction to fellow classmates, email is the main information delivery system of the class agent. Information is quickly passed along this way efficiently; plus it’s easy, convenient and can save money.

There are scheduled communiques with classmates in December, April and August. However, each agents’ approach may differ, with means and frequency of communications varying.

“Having just started, my experience is that contacting classmates by phone is the best method,” says John Gillis ’72 Class Agent (with Ed Rosenberg). (One classmate admitted he doesn’t even have a computer.) A phone conversation also provides the opportunity to reconnect more meaningfully and collect info on other classmates.”

Contact your class agent to submit class notes, employment updates, change of address, articles of interest, or just to say hello. If you have email but have not heard from your class agent, contact your agent or the Alumni Relations Office ( Learn who your class agent is by visiting If you are interested in being a class agent and do not have access to the internet or email, contact the Alumni Relations Office.
­—By Jeff Wright, Director of Alumni Relations

  • Alumni News
    First Social

    The Southeast Atlantic Chapter (Charleston, South Carolina) had its first social on September 27 with 12 in attendance. One of the organizers, Capt. Jay Stewart ’00, is excited by the showing and says people were encouraged to meet again. Discussion among the group was diversified, but always circled back to how MMA prepared them all. Classes from 1985-2013 were present.

  • New coach introduced

    The two area chapters held a combined meeting at the Dockside Grill, Falmouth on November 2. Fifty alumni and friends were entertained by featured speaker Bill Haggett, CEO of Pineland Farms and past president and CEO of BIW. Dan McNeely, MMA’s new men’s basketball coach, was introduced to the group and gave an update on the 2017 -18 Mariner basketball team.

John Burns III ’85
51 Ash Lane
Hermon, ME 04401

Samuel Rowe ’65
195 Eagle Drive
Mashpee, MA 02649

Pat Zrioka ’87

Rich Slack ’93
32 Joy Lane
Uncasville, CT 06382

Capt. John Gazzola ’82
543 West Centre Street
Woodbury, NJ 08096

David Knapp ’86
5008 Longfellow Avenue
Tampa, FL 33629

Jon Fortier ’86
5 West Baker Street
Winslow, ME 04901

Alton Leeman ’92
12 Steamboat Road
Bailey Island, ME 04003

Michael Chambers ’80
2233 21st Street
San Francisco, CA 94116

Juan Molino ’89

Lindsey Pinkham ’04
111 Greenwood Avenue
Warren, ME 04864

Capt. Dave Melin ’84

Mike Grigware ’87
30 Riverview Drive
Biddeford, ME 04005

Norman Laskay ’62
402 Mariners Island
Mandeville, LA 70448

Capt. Jay Stewart ’00

Ralph Staples ’71
299 OakValley Lane
Escondido, CA 92027

Sherri Hickman ’85

Chip Callan ’88
1600 River Rock Reach
Chesapeake, VA 23321

Andrew Strosahl ’05

  • New Coach
    Panama Canal
    Alumni in Leading Roles

    The chapter hosted a recent luncheon, reports Juan Molino ’89 (shown left; others l-r) Peter Podest ’91, Cesar Achurra ’90, Gary Watson ’90, Mario Pantoja ’89, Frank Samudio ’92 and Ricardo Cuellar ’17. All have served in the field, in special projects, as training officers or heads of departments. See more about MMA and the Canal in Alumni in Key Roles in the Panama Canal.

  • Delaware Valley Chapter
    Delaware Valley
    Academies Represented

    Three maritime alumni chapter presidents had a chance to converse at a recent Ports of Philadelphia Maritime Society Dinner: MMA DelBay president Capt. John Gazzola ’82 (right), John Brennan, Kings Point and Capt. Art Sulzer, SUNY Maritime College.

  • Sherri Hickman
    New Chapter President

    Scott Futcher ’89, MMA alumni contact for the Houston area, has been temporarily assigned to Anchorage, AK for the next couple of years. Sherri Hickman ’85 (pictured right) has stepped in to assume chapter responsibilities. Her first official function was attending a small gathering of alumni at the Hilton Americas on November 4. Also in attendance was Oliver Ferguson ’81, Kelly Griffith ’94, Jeff Ivory ’95, Billy Griffith ’98 and wife Jennifer Horner Griffith ’99, and Don McBride ’05. Jeff Wright, MMA Alumni Relations Director, updated the group on MMA activities and represented MMA at a STEM college fair at University of Houston the following day.

Save the Date

Alumni Senior Banquet
Feb 7, 2018 6-8:30 pm
Cross Insurance Center
Bangor, Maine

MMA Alumni Association Legislative Reception
February 13, 2018 5-8 pm
The Senator Inn
Augusta, Maine

Up Close with MMA
March 5, 2018: Westbury, NY
March 6, 2018: Philadelphia, PA
March 7, 2018: Baltimore, MD
March 8, 2018:Virginia Beach, VA
Contact Alumni Office for more details and to rsvp

MMA Alumni Association Elections
Summer 2018

Class of 1973 Reunion
June 25-27

Nominations Due for Outstanding Alumnus and Wall of Honor Awards
June 30, 2018

Homecoming 2018
September 28-30

For these event details and more:

  • Richard "Dick" Balzano
    Washington, DC
    Balzano, Guest Speaker

    Andrew Strosahl ’05 reports 17 alumni from MMA, Mass, SUNY, Cal, and Kings Point attended a gathering at the Bluejacket on November 15. Richard “Dick” Balzano ’89 was introduced as the new MARAD Deputy Maritime Administrator. He highlighted challenges facing the maritime industry and his action items for his office. Alumni from the other academies were very thankful for the invitation to the event. Due to the success of the gathering, Strosahl believes the group will be able to arrange for a private room for events held in the future and plans are to continue to invite other state maritime academy alumni.

MARINERS: Stay in Touch

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