MMA Launches the Class of 2018

A beautiful spring day greeted more than 240 graduating students, their families and friends for the 75th Commencement at Maine Maritime Academy on May 4. After marching to the music of the George Stevens Academy jazz band, a tradition that is more than two decades old, Provost David Gardner asked graduating students to please rise and face the audience.

“The members of the graduating class have relatives in this audience who have supported their quest for an education and who share in their achievements today…the entire academy family would like to extend a thank-you to the families of our graduates, for without your exceptional support and generosity, this commencement would not be possible.”

At that moment, parents and spouses of the graduates rose from their seats to be recognized.

The commencement speaker, The Honorable Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby, USN (Ret.), Maritime Administrator, echoed that sentiment later in his remarks, acknowledging “…all who had a hand in forming the foundation (of those) sitting here today…let me just add my thanks, and well done to you all.”

Admiral Buzby’s message to the Class of 2018 centered on decisions. Recounting a sea story (“just one”), he offered lessons he had learned, and said, “Perhaps more than anything, the degree of personal integrity underpinning the decisions that you make from this day forward will define you for the rest of your life. This is a relatively small industry that we’re in, the maritime industry, and…it’s not easy, and your character will be constantly tested.”

Watch recording of 2018 Commencement

Photo: Sarah Szwajkos

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