Class Notes
  • 1949 Class Note


    Albert Werner ’68, Don MacVane ’49 and Adam Kimball ’01 celebrating MacVane’s 90th birthday in November, Long Island, New York. MacVane is still lobstering.

  • 1954


    Dr. Al Bennett ’54 highlighted March On festivities at Homecoming this year as he led the crowd in a spirited rendition of the Maine Maritime Academy March. Bennett is the composer of the school song, which he originally wrote in 1955, recorded with the University of New Hampshire marching band in 2013, and gifted to MMA in 2015. His son, Dr. Garrett Bennett ’85, and brother, Roy Bennett ’62, among other family members, were in attendance to sing along.

  • 1955

    Capt. Hank Bracker ’55 won three awards in August for his book, Suppressed I Rise from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association. The book is the true story of Adeline Perry and her daughters’ saga in Nazi Germany, and won a Bronze Medal for “Nonfiction for Young Adults,” Silver Medal for “Political/Current Events” and Gold Medal for “Biography.”

    On the heels of this recognition, Bracker released a new book, Seawater One…Going To Sea!, which chronicles his own story, from childhood and experience at MMA in the 50s to his 40 years of military service, as an educator for 25 years, and now award-winning author and blogger, which you can enjoy at

Alumni in Key Roles in the Panama Canal

The Academy and the Canal have always had close ties. The 1946 senior cruise included a transit across the canal, and Cristobal and Balboa were a regular stop in the 50s and 60s.

The SS Ancon, owned by the Panama Railroad Company, was commissioned as training ship for MMA in 1962. The following year the new State of Maine visited the canal during her first winter cruise. The ship lured to its old home port a few alumni like Roger Haines ’66 and Nat Gladding ’67, who joined the pilot force in the 70s. Haines served as a Senior Port Captain while Gladding was one of the few recipients of the John Constantine award for 20 years of accident-free pilotage.

…Read More

  • 1957


    Dale Lincoln ’57 was inducted into the MMA 2017 William J. Mottola Athletics Hall of Fame Class. Lincoln, a co-captain for the Maine Maritime Academy baseball team in 1956-57, was instrumental in sparking interest on campus that eventually led to the creation of the MMA Cross Country program. Lincoln ran in several local races during his time at Maine Maritime, which grew into a 32-year career in coaching, race directing and promoting running. Lincoln was very much a part of the development and growth of road racing in Downeast Maine, and was the first resident of Washington County to be inducted into the Maine Running Hall of Fame in 2002.

  • 1961

    Ron Pratt ’61 traveled over the summer “…to Hawaii and England and then took a cruise through the canal in August through to the beginning of November to do the buying for our shops. Our shop name is Whale’s Tale Antiques (in Port Ahuriri, Napier, New Zealand). You can look it up on the net.”

  • 1962

    Norm Laskey ’62 continues to teach ship appraisal. In August he went to Melbourne, Australia to teach an appraisal course, then took the train to Sydney to speak at a conference on the new technologies and IMO regulations that are going to affect asset values. He also gave a short course to a group of marine surveyors in the Pacific Northwest. He has an article on ship appraisal that was published in the November issue of Maritime Reporter.

First Person
Hanging in There for Kids

I’m an instructor for Red Wolf Wilderness Adventures in the Black Creek Wilderness of the Desoto National Forest in Mississippi. I work with school kids from the area in outdoor programs that foster team- and confidence-building, outdoor and wilderness skills.

It’s rewarding to help them discover that they can do whatever they set their minds to do, which is not necessarily the case when they first arrive.

…Read More

  • 1962


    After his class reunion at MMA, Bob Chiarello ’62 and wife Claire were invited to lunch by Perry Mattson ’64 and his wife Pearl at “their magnificent place on Morgan’s Bay in Surry,” says Chiarello. “It was absolutely spectacular and we were reunited after 55 years!”

  • 1962

    David Weems, nephew of James Barr ’62, writes: “Uncle Jimmy has been working so hard and is just two classes away from his doctorate degree. Throughout his studies he made us so aware of how valuable merchant mariners are to our nation. He had made us so proud. He is a great man.”

  • 1964

    Nathan Whitaker ’64 is proud of his grandson, Mason Whitaker ’19, an MMA Scheel Scholar, Elite Eight in sports, and playing a lot of soccer while he enjoys his studies in International Business and Logistics.

Love of the Sea and Business
This story includes a video.

Richard O’Leary ’54 has a small painting among the mementos at his oceanside home in Ogunquit, Maine. It’s a small painting he made of a young boy watching a ship passing in the distance.

It harkens to O’Leary’s boyhood infatuation with the ocean, which led to a remarkable career, from service as a naval officer and merchant mariner to Commandant of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and founder and president of Cruise International / CI Travel, a company of 2,500 employees and a 14-ship fleet that cruised some of America’s most prominent harbors.

…Read More

  • 1965


    The Maine Maritime Academy Alumni Association awarded the 2017 Outstanding Alumnus Award to Charles “Cal” Lechman at the Alumni Reception during Homecoming Weekend. Lechman’s service to MMA and the Alumni Association started 46 years ago, when he formed the Erie Canal MMA Alumni Chapter while working with General Electric in Schenectady, New York. He has served on the MMA Alumni Association Board since 1971.

    In 2006, Lechman was elected treasurer of the MMA Alumni Association, a challenging position that he still holds. He is very involved with the Casco Bay chapter, currently serving as treasurer, and was president from 1980 to 1982.

    He has generously donated to many MMA fund raisers, capital campaigns, activities and gatherings. He has worked tirelessly as an alumni volunteer for MMA’s Night by the Bay event, and is a regular attendee at Homecomings, area events, meetings, and vessel receptions.

    He lives in Harpswell, Maine  with his wife, Jan Sims-Lechman.

    Pictured with Lechman (center) at a recognition ceremony are Joe Cote, ’82, president of the MMA Alumni Association (left) and Dr. William Brennan, president of MMA (right).

  • 1967

    In August, Keystone Shipping Co. re-powered the former (Steam Ship) SS John Munson (1952) after 15 months at Bay Fincantieri Ship Yard in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and she is now the (Motor Vessel) MV John Munson.

    Several MMA alumni played key roles: Chief Engineer, Scott McPherson ’84, General Manager and Senior Engineering Manager, John Thibodeau ’70, Industrial and Labor Relations Manager, Dave Schultze ’67, and Safety & Quality Assurance Officer, Tim O’Connor ’78.

  • 1983

    Nathaniel Leonard ’83 is president of Little River Marine Consultants of East Boothbay, Maine where he also lives with his wife, Eve.

Sea Stories
Passage to Freedom
This story includes a video.

I became Commander of the USS Kirk in 1974 with 250 enlisted aboard; average age: 23.

I think America needs to know what they did.

The Kirk and crew led the largest humanitarian rescue in US Navy history at the end of the Vietnam War when Saigon fell in the spring of 1975.

…Read More

  • 1984

    Adam Wilson ‘84, a former naval aviator, is living in Tampa, Florida and is a pilot for UPS.

    1984 MMA Alumni Class Agent David Melin ’84 sends news of fellow classmates:

    Ron Hood has sailed for the same company (Overseas Shipping Group, America) for the last 32 years. When he’s not sailing, he’s an umpire for Little League and High School baseball games, kayaking, competition rifle/pistol shooting and bow hunting.

    Wayne Plummer and his wife, Barbara, bought a hunting and fishing guide business 17 years ago and are living their dream. Check ‘em out at:
    Adam Wilson and Dave Hopkins are flying big planes for UPS and FEDEX respectively.

    Kevin Daigneault lives in San Jose and works for Westinghouse Electric Co. in Sunnyvale, California doing great work for the Navy submarine program. After 18 years of Field Service, he went into Program Management for the Virginia Class Main Propulsion Program. Now, he is the Director of Gear Manufacturing, Assembly and Test Operations.

    Courtney Henry is sailing Chief Engineer on the Tote Maritime Ship North Star on the Tacoma – Anchorage, Alaska run. He’s been doing this for quite a few years now.
    Skip Strong and Dave Gelinas are still galloping up the icy winter pilot ladders in Penobscot Bay like they were 30 years old. They also provide pro bono pilotage for the MMA training ship. Nice!

    Kevin Green (Power Plant Manager) and Mike Foster (Director of Special Programs) work at Providence College and Husson University, respectively. Foster retired from the Navy after 27 years of service and command of USS Spruance.

  • 1986


    Class of ’86 mini-muster post 2017 Seacoast Golf outing in New Hampshire in September.

  • 1986

    Capt. Pat Carney and wife Tracey visited Castine in September. He is a senior partner for Atlantic Technical Management of Glenmoore, Pennsylvania.

  • 1987

    Eric Tanguay stopped by the Alumni Office in October while his son Justin went on a campus tour. Eric lives in Milton, Georgia and works as a director for Georgia Pacific.

  • 1987


    “What are the chances!” says Paul Freeman ‘87 (left) when he ran into fellow alumnus William “Tex” Crawford ’56 in Paris, France in September.

  • 1988


    Pat Duffy ’88 and Eric F. Smith ’88 on a hunting trip at the Arctic Circle in Alaska.

  • 1989


    Richard Balzano has been appointed Deputy Maritime Administrator for the Maritime Administration (MARAD).

    He obtained his BS degree in engineering from MMA and his graduate degree in general sciences from Johns Hopkins University. Balzano holds active duel USCG licenses and has served 14 years of active duty in the U.S. Navy and 14 years in the U.S. Naval Reserves, into which he has just transferred back.

    He has held positions in the defense industrial base sector, commercial maritime industry, commercial nuclear utility industry, as well as professional congressional staff positions.

    “I am delighted to be joining the Maritime Administration (MARAD) team,” he says, “as I am, in fact, a product of their programs and policies.”

    “At Maine Maritime Academy, I received tuition support from MARAD and trained aboard the TS State of Maine, a MARAD-provided ship. Most importantly, I received my commission in the U.S. Naval Reserve through the Strategic Sealift Officer Program, which led me to rewarding and successful naval and civilian careers.”

    MMA President, William Brennan, related this experience from a visit to Balzano’s office in late October:

    “Dick has already been impactful at MARAD. Yesterday, as I and the other SMA (State Maritime Academy) presidents were going through security to enter the DOT building in DC, an ambulance crew brought a man in a stretcher out of the elevator, a man I recognized as a MARAD employee.

    “We went to the Administrator’s office and learned that the man we just saw in the gurney had had a heart attack in the Administrator’s conference room, whereupon the new Deputy, Richard Balzano, administered CPR and revived the fellow.

    “It is incredible to save a life. You can’t have more impact than that.”

  • 1992

    Krzysztof Maslanka worked for Arco Marine from 1992-2001, and has moved back to his native Poland where he is in real estate and development in the city of Poznan.

  • 1993


    On his way to completing a 50-mile ride, Steve Pellegrino ’93 shown at rest stop of the 11th Annual Pedal the Penobscot, September 10, benefitting the Bangor Land Trust, which protects unique and valuable local habitats.

    Volunteers included John Hackney ’95 and Larry Wade ‘64.

  • 2004


    Jeff Musk ’04 has joined Sprague Operating Resources, LLC in Portsmouth, New Hampshire as Manager, Operational Integrity. Musk will assist Sprague’s terminal, fleet, service and delivery operations with developing a framework of policies and procedures and verifying their effectiveness through internal integrity audits.

    He completed his MBA at the University of New Hampshire in 2012 and worked as a senior consultant with Safety Management Systems, LLC prior to joining Sprague.

  • 2009


    Jess Hewitt ’09 was cited as one of Ten Most Intriguing Mainers by Portland magazine in November. She was one of 14 crew members to survive the sinking of the Bounty, a replica of HMS Bounty used in the original movie Bounty, during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. In the article she recounts her experience in the storm and recovery from its trauma.

    “When I’m in that dark hole, I think ‘I survived that, and that was the worst,” Hewitt is quoted. If she carries over the lessons from the experience, “I know that if I keep breathing [as she did while afloat in a survival suit] through any challenge, I’ll survive.”

    Hewitt currently works on an oil rig supply vessel.

  • 2010


    On July 7, First Officer Bryan Stoots ’10, a civil service mariner with Military Sealift Command, was presented a special act award citation for saving the life of a shipyard forklift driver. Stoots arrived on scene to discover the driver whose left arm had been completely amputated. He provided life-saving first aid by applying a tourniquet and other measures to control the victim’s bleeding, thereby saving his life.

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