Alumni News
John Ingram (sixth from right, broad brim hat) and Tom Hall (far right), class agents for 1979, join classmates and spouses for an afternoon cruise aboard Pentagoet during their 40th reunion in July.

Class Agents in Action

IN JULY OF 2017, the MMA Alumni Association introduced the Alumni Class Agent Program. A Class Agent is a volunteer from the class who helps keep his/her classmates current on MMA events and initiatives and assists in maintaining contact with alumni.

The goals of the Class Agent program are simple: assist the Office of Alumni Relations with sharing information and updating contact information; encourage or cultivate submission of class notes for Mariner, Shipmate and other academy communications; share professional experiences and successes of classmates; and identify classmates who may be candidates for alumni awards, such as Wall of Honor and Outstanding Alumnus.

Since its inception, 80 class agents have volunteered to represent 63 of MMA’s 75 classes. Last month, Shawn Longfellow ’86, member of the MMA Alumni Association and chair of the Alumni Engagement Committee, sent a letter to the unrepresented classes. His efforts produced three additional agents. Most representation has come from the classes of 1956 to the present; only four classes in that time span still need a Class Agent: 1981, 1999, 2001, and 2002. If you’d like to volunteer, please contact Jeff Wright at

The Class Agent concept has been of great benefit to alumni and the Office of Alumni Relations. “We receive alumni updates almost daily, and for the past two years, the Mariner Class Notes section has been full of news of career changes, life events, sea stories and adventures,” says Jeff Wright, Director of Alumni Relations. “It has exceeded our expectations.”

“Keeping everyone in the loop, getting class biographies published, and planning events has been very rewarding,” says Jerry Gotlieb, Class Agent for 1961.

    Great GatheringTHE TIDEWATER CHAPTER met on April 25 at The Grain in Norfolk, Virginia. A great turnout of area alumni were on hand to thank John “Chip” Callan ’88 for his dedicated service to the group and welcome new president Mike Ward ’10. Jeff Wright, Director of Alumni Relations, gave an update on campus activities and initiatives. Robert Jacobs, incoming freshman, attended with his father Jake Jacobs ’85 and won the Maine lobster raffle. Best of luck at MMA, Robert. Photo courtesy of Sid Kasarabada ’04.
    New PresidentBEN CAMERON ’93 is the new Chapter President of the Ned Andrews Chapter of the Maine Maritime Academy Alumni Association. The rest of the board membership includes Leo Hill ’79, Vice President; Mark Haines ’86, Treasurer; and board members Capt. John D. Ingram ’79, Chris Riley ’81, Chris Ferreira ’93, and Alton Leeman ’92. The chapter will have a meeting in October and plans for another in Spring 2020.
  • Email Address Updates

    IF YOU ARE NOT RECEIVING the electronic newsletter, Shipmate, every other month, the email we have on file is incorrect or non-existent.

    We encourage all alumni to update contact information and/or subscribe to Shipmate.

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

Ben Cameron ’93
Topsham, ME

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

Michael T. Ward ’10
Virginia Beach, VA

Josh Collamer ’98
Silver Spring, MD

Jason Grabelle ’98
Ellicott City, MD

    Shoreside BarbecueTHE SEACOAST CHAPTER of Portsmouth, New Hampshire hosted the MMA Alumni Association Board meeting on June 19. Following the meeting, the Sprague House estate, located in Newington, New Hampshire on the shore of the Piscataquis River, was the site of the chapters’ annual You Bring the Meat, We’ll Bring the Heat barbecue. There were some 40 alumni in attendance, with spouses and friends also enjoying the beautiful locale, weather and camaraderie. Special thanks to Alumni Association Past President Jim Proulx ’85 and Seacoast Chapter members for hosting such a great event. Photo courtesy of Ivy Robichaud ’05.
  • Fall 2019 Up Close Programs

    DIRECTOR OF ALUMNI RELATIONS Jeff Wright will visit alumni in selected locations this fall in another Up Close presentation tour. The purpose of each Up Close visit is to network and share the compelling story of change, growth and success at MMA. The presentation highlights academy statistics, recent renovations and upcoming initiatives, and includes the latest news on the Center for Professional Mariner Development.

    Up Close programs highlight the change, growth and success at MMA.

    Presentations will be in Jersey City, New Jersey; Houston, Texas; Portland, Maine; and Seattle, Washington. Postcard invitations will be mailed to area alumni; RSVPs requested. Past Up Close events have been held in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, South Carolina, Florida and Virginia.

  • Summer Solstice Cruise

    On FRIDAY, June 21 the MMA Alumni Association hosted a Summer Solstice Sunset Nature Cruise around Acadia National Park and Frenchman’s Bay. Initially, more than 75 people signed up, but weather was a concern for most of the day, and proved to be a deterrent for some. However, the weather cleared and 42 hearty alumni, from 1952 to 2017, and friends boarded Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company’s new Acadia Explorer for an enjoyable nature cruise, with narration about the environment, history, and culture of the area. During the cruise alumni enjoyed their favorite beverages and conversation.

    The sunset nature cruise offered an opportunity to learn about the environment, history and culture of the area.

    This initial sail was very well received and plans are to kick off each summer with a similar outing. See you next year!

    Photos: (Top) Dale Daigle ’83 ventured down from Limestone, Maine, returning to Bar Harbor for the trip. It was his first time in Bar Harbor since he worked for The Jackson Laboratory in the mid 80s. (Bottom, l to r) Margaret Higgins, Bob Malaney ’52, Connie Boardman and Ralph Boardman ’79 enjoying the Summer Solstice Cruise.

Save the Date

Up Close Presentation
Sept. 12 | Komar Headquarters
90 Hudson Street , Jersey City, NJ

Inter-Academy Monomoy Challenge
Sept. 14 | SUNY Maritime
Throggs Neck, NY

Seacoast Scholarship Golf Scramble
Sept. 19 | Sanford Country Club

Homecoming 2019
Sept. 19–22 | MMA campus

MMA Alumni Assoc. Annual Mtg.
Sept. 21 | 10 am | MMA Campus

MMA Career Fair
Oct. 17 | MMA Alexander Field House

Up Close Presentation
Oct. 17 | Westin Memorial City
945 Gessner Road, Houston, TX

Up Close Presentation
Oct. 24 | Embassy Suites Airport
Portland, ME

Up Close Presentation
Nov. 21 | Embassy Suites
Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA

State Academy Reception
International WorkBoat Show
Dec. 4 | The Westin, New Orleans, LA

For these event details and more:

    All WelcomeMike Chambers ’80 sent us a festive photo of a recent dinner at the Delancey Street Restaurant in San Francisco on May 4. The restaurant is a key training facility of the Delancey Street Foundation, the country’s largest self-help residential organization. (First row, l to r) Liz Chambers, Mike Chambers ’80, John Thurau ’55, Mary Jean Daigneault. (Second row, l to r) Jonathan Ogle ’82, Capt. Chuck Viebrock ’64, Rebecca Viebrock, David Lipsky ’79, Cheryl Lipsky, Frank Porcellini ’84, and Kevin Daigneault ’84.
  • Volunteerism Increases

    THE MMA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION is pleased to see a dramatic increase in alumni volunteerism in the past two years. As a result of improved communications and expanded programming, the Association recognizes more than 200 volunteers who have graciously assisted in coordinating campus and/or regional activities and initiatives.

    Class Agents80
    Speakers / Panel Members30+
    Industrial Advisory Committees30+
    Alumni Chapter Contacts21
    Alumni Association Board16
    Class Pursers13
    Advancement Committee8
    Opening Doors, Changing Lives Committee5
    MMA Trustees5
  • Jacksonville group possibleDURING THE UP CLOSE program held in Jacksonville, Florida on May 7, alumni in attendance discussed organizing an area group to host a couple of alumni events per year. An estimated 130 alumni reside in northern Florida and southern Georgia. If interested in this effort, contact David Lane ’68:
  • Annual Fund Participation Soars

    The level of alumni participation in the Annual Fund during the past fiscal year was the highest ever, achieving nearly 17 percent when the fiscal year closed on June 30.

    Alumni are getting behind the Annual Fund Vision 20|20 challenge, striving for 20 percent participation this fiscal year to qualify for $750,000 in scholarship funding from the Harold Alfond Foundation.

    What accounted for the recent increase? In part, May’s Maritime Alumni Challenge, where MMA competed against three other maritime academies, and grew from 417 donors in 2018 to 539 donors in 2019, an increase of 29 percent. Additionally, a crew of alumni volunteers stepped forward to actively spread the word among classmates, encouraging their participation in the Vision 20|20 challenge.

    “The energy within the alumni community seems to strengthen with each passing month,” says Karen Brace, Maine Maritime Academy’s Annual Fund Manager.

    “Alumni are communicating with each other about the challenge. With 1,222 donors having given at least $1 to the Annual Fund last year, the alumni I talk with are confident that 1,480 donors will step forward to reach the 20 percent participation mark by June of 2020.

    “When you see participation rising 3.6 percent between FY18 and FY19, the 3.1 percent increase needed this year ­to qualify for the scholarship funding seems doable.

    “We’re grateful to all the alumni who are making this happen—it’s amazing to see everyone pulling together.”

    4-Year Alumni Participation Growth Chart

MARINERS: Stay in Touch

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