Alumni News


Homecoming 2018

MMA will recognize its first 75-year alumni classes, 1943-1 and 1943-2, during Homecoming festivities September 28-30, 2018.

Leading up to an event-filled weekend, MMA students will be celebrating an inaugural Spirit Week, participating in special events and class competitions throughout, culminating with a spirit bonfire.

The Regiment of Midshipmen invite all alumni to attend Morning Formation at 7:20 a.m., Friday at the academy flagpole. Following dismissal from quarters, alumni are welcome to attend select morning classes. The Alumni Golf Classic has a shotgun start at 1 p.m., and evening events include the MMA Hall of Fame induction banquet, an Alumni Reception, dinner with classmates, a Presidential Welcome, Alumni Association awards, and entertainment. Student Life will host a Casino Night for alumni, students, family and friends following meals.

Of note will be two showings of The Lucky Few, a U.S. Navy documentary based on the fall of Saigon, the USS Kirk, her crew, and CDR Paul Jacobs ’58 who are credited with rescuing thousands of Vietnamese. The 8 p.m. showing in the BIW Humanities Lecture Hall is reserved for the Class of 1958 and dignitaries, with the second viewing open to all at 9:30 p.m.

On Saturday, festivities include a Fun Run, harbor tours, demonstrations, the annual Alumni Association meeting, food, merchandise tents, games, inflatables, football and soccer.

Following the traditional March On, Honor Classes have reserved tents on Alumni Alley (Pleasant Street) where they may gather during the game and afternoon activities. Other classes or groups are welcome to reserve a tailgate area with MMA Conferences.

Guests are invited to the Alfond Student Center Saturday evening to dine in the newly renovated dining hall (pay at the door). Following football, MMA women’s and men’s soccer teams play at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. against Northern Vermont, Lyndon.

For more details or to register for events, visit or contact the Alumni Relations Office at

  • alumni gathering
    Summer Alumni Events
    Alumni Association Annual GatheringApproximately 50 alumni and friends attended the MMA Alumni Association Meeting and Alumni Gathering at Ri Ra on Commercial Street in Portland, June 14. In attendance were Anton Zrioka ’16, Jay Sawyer ’83, Ulla Zrioka, and Pat Zrioka ’87, Casco Bay Alumni Chapter President, and others.

  • 1973 Reunion photo
    Summer Reunion

    Great weather greeted 55 alumni and friends of the Class of 1973 during their Summer Reunion held on campus June 25-27, 2018. Thirty-three classmates gathered to reminisce about old times, provide updates on their whereabouts, and enjoy each other’s company. The reunion program included a welcome from President Brennan, a presentation on MMA today, an Eight Bells ceremony, boat ride and Maine coast lobster feed.

MMA Alumni Survey

On June 4, 2018, more than 4,000 MMA alumni received an email from the Advancement Office linking to a survey about their undergraduate experience, life post-graduation and financial support of the college.

After 10 days, the survey closed with 936 responses — a 22.8% response rate.

The goal of the survey was to gain a better understanding of the undergraduate experiences of our alumni, their connection to MMA, and how their experiences affect their level of interest in financial support of the college.

We greatly appreciate the comments, some of which gave us a lot of food for thought and have prompted us to review our methodology and programs.

While some suggestions are beyond our control (we would love to make tuition free, but we are fiscally unable), many of you gave specific, constructive suggestions that we plan to implement. We want you to know: we hear you. Below are some highlights of the survey:

You Are Proud Mariners

More than 92% of you said you are satisfied, or very satisfied, with your undergraduate experience at MMA.

Over 80% of you noted that MMA had a positive and significant impact on your career, while another 14.77% of you said MMA had a positive, but not significant, impact on your career.

You Want to Connect

You would love to have more events for alumni (in addition to Homecoming and golf outings) and to form more chapters.

You desire creative forms of communication, including video clips of day-to-day life and events at MMA, interviews with students and staff and an increased presence on social media.

You want opportunities to give of your time and expertise, such as helping to coordinate co-ops for students, and mentoring and assisting Admissions in recruiting the next generation of Mariners.

You Are Philanthropically Resolute

You enjoy fundraising challenges and competing against the other maritime colleges—and winning! You suggested that we add challenges between alumni chapters and between classes.

Many of you wish to personalize your giving: sponsor a student, pay for books or uniforms for a financially struggling student, purchase a piece of lab equipment, chip in toward a waterfront need and more.

You believe that classmate-to-classmate communication about giving back is the best form of inspiration.

You desire more transparency in exactly where your donations to the Annual Fund go.

Survey Results Image

If you didn’t fill out the survey and want to give feedback, please contact the Advancement Office at 207-326-2223. For full survey results, visit

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

Minh Harriman ’90

Mike Grigware ’87
30 Riverview Drive
Biddeford, ME 04005

Norman Laskay ’62
5848 Catina Street
New Orleans, LA 70124

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


  • Bangor Sea Dogs
    Back in Action

    “WE’RE BACK,” says Bangor Sea Dogs alumni chapter president, John Burns ’85. “Not that we ever really went away, but now we are the new and improved Sea Dog chapter and looking for alumni, both young and old, to get back on board and join us for the telling of some old sea tales or about some faraway country you visited on one of your cruises.

    “Maybe you even have an old story about ‘Bucko’ or ‘Mrs. T’ you would like to share (for you younger guys, we will fill you in later on whom they were). Or, if you just want to stop by and share in some refreshments, that’s fine too.”

    Maybe you have an old story about ‘Bucko’ or ‘Mrs. T.’ you would like to share.

    The Sea Dog chapter is among the largest of MMA alumni association chapters and encompasses alumni in the greater Bangor area. “The number of alumni in our surrounding area totals in the hundreds,” says Burns.

    “Whether it’s a barbecue or a golf outing we are looking to schedule or a deep-sea fishing adventure out of Bar Harbor that we are putting in the works, come aboard and enjoy a good time.”

    To learn about upcoming events, join the chapter’s Facebook page: Bangor Sea Dog Chapter of Maine Maritime Academy Alumni; or contact

  • Capt. Gandy
    Welcome Home Reception

    Capt. Nathan Gandy '92, Commandant of Midshipmen and Dean of Maritime Training, presented Capt. Bob Peacock ’71 with a token of appreciation during a Welcome Home reception aboard TS State of Maine in Eastport, Maine, on July 12. Peacock was instrumental in arranging for the training ship to visit Eastport and clear Customs following its highly successful 70-day training cruise. More than 50 guests, including 25 alumni, attended the event.

    A plaque of appreciation was also presented to the Eastport Chamber of Commerce and Bill Mahoney ’56, the most senior alumni present, was presented a cruise ball cap.

Annual Fund Counts

The first year of the three-year Annual Fund Vision 20|20 campaign ended on June 30, with the close of the MMA 2018 fiscal year. The great news is that we reached our financial goal of $750,000!

2018 Annual Fund Goals

Vision 20|20 2018 Goals

Alumni participation to the Annual Fund was 13.26%.

For 2019, MMA has again set a $750,000 Annual Fund goal, along with a participation rate of 17%, which equates to 269 more alumni donors than last year.

If you did not support MMA last year, you are encouraged to do so this year. Please note that you are able to designate your gifts to a wide variety of areas, such as scholarships/financial aid, leadership opportunities, athletics, regiment, lab equipment, technology, academic departments, waterfront/vessels, buildings and grounds, or operations.

A gift of any amount to the Annual Fund Vision 20|20 campaign counts in our financial numbers and toward our 17% alumni participation goal.

Save the Date

Ship Jump
Sunday,August 26, 2018
MMA Waterfront

Admiral’s Cup Tailgater
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Massachusetts Maritime Academy

17th Annual Seacoast Alumni Scholarship Golf Scramble
Thursday, September 27, 2018
Registration 8:00 a.m.; start 9:00 a.m.

Class of 1964 Mini-Muster
Friday, September 28, 2018
Noon - 2 p.m.
DiMillo’s Floating Restaurant, Portland

MMA Homecoming 2018
September 28-30, 2018

Class of 2022 Regimental Induction
Saturday, October 6, 2018

MMA Career Fair
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Alexander Field House, MMA

Washington, DC Tailgater
Saturday, November 10, 2018
11:00 a.m., kickoff time TBA
Washington, DC

For these event details and more:

Class Pursers Sought

In an effort to meet the goals of the three-year Annual Fund Vision 20|20 campaign, a group of alumni, representative of most class decades, has visited MMA twice in 2018 to discuss methods to increase the alumni participation rate for each class.

During the initial gathering on March 23, the group listened to an impassioned talk by President Brennan at the opening dinner. He talked about the history of philanthropy, the escalating costs to run MMA, and his desire to make MMA affordable for any Maine student who wants to attend.

He summarized his remarks by stating, “I need your help because the only way we will increase gifts to financial aid is by increasing the participation rate to the Annual Fund. It is from there that donors give to scholarships and capital projects. Increasing participation to the Annual Fund is the critical pathway to increasing financial aid support at Maine Maritime Academy.”

Among their initiatives, the group has set a lofty goal of recruiting 40 Class Pursers by September 15, 2018. Modeled after the Class Agent program, these Class Pursers will work with the Academy’s Advancement Office and help make peer-to-peer calls to encourage others to support MMA.

Alumni assisting with this effort include David Fenderson ’56, John Gillis ’72, Mike Ames ’77, Larry Burrill ’77, Jake Jacobs ’85, Joe Valliere ’99, Andrew Strosahl ’05 and Eliza Pingree ’15.

If you would like to volunteer or learn more about this program, please contact Chris Haley, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, at 207-326-2232 or

Challenge Results

The fifth annual Maritime Alumni Challenge was completed on May 21 and included Mass Maritime, Cal Maritime, SUNY Maritime, and the winner, Maine Maritime Academy.

This is all about participation, not dollars raised.

The heads of all three schools falling behind Maine will be wearing MMA attire at a morning formation when classes begin.

Alumni Challenge Results

Maritime Alumni Challenge Results

MARINERS: Stay in Touch

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