President’s Watch

I NEVER KNOW WHO I’m going to meet on my daily walks to campus. I look forward to those spontaneous conversations, and there is one constant I can always count on: the caliber of student I will engage with each and every day.

William J. Brennan

MMA President
Dr. William J. Brennan

Recently, as my wife Heather and I came up over the dock from an afternoon on our boat hauling our lobster traps, we came across Hollister Poole ’15 and Ryan Collet ’15, who were having photographs taken in advance of their wedding in Castine later that day. It was a joy to see them taking another one of life’s major steps and memorializing it at the MMA waterfront.

Catching up with these young alumni caused me to reflect on a freshman student I met when I was in the early years of my presidency at MMA. He was standing a bridge wing watch at about two o’clock in the morning and, in talking with him, I learned that he knew what kind of house he wanted to build on what piece of land with money he wouldn’t earn for several years. The conversation made an impression, and when I saw him at a recent Homecoming, he had advanced his license, worked in the industry, and had that house on that land that he had envisioned years before as a student at MMA.

President Brennan jumping from TSSOM

President Brennan gets 2018 Ship Jump started for the class of 2022 with a leap from TSSOM.

Our students share a drive to succeed. I believe that is true across the years and classes, and in my 10 years, it is definitely true among our young alumni. Our students are focused. They have goals. They are not only involved in campus life and committed to their studies, but they are also respectful, dynamic members of the community.

I’m truly looking forward to meeting the Class of 2023 and welcoming them to campus. I will be joining them on the training ship at the end of August to take the plunge at Ship Jump.

More than 250 students will take part in Ship Jump again this year.

It’s hard to believe it was a decade ago when I was roped into taking the first plunge as a fundraising ploy. It worked, and then it became a tradition for me to line up with the students and start the new year by taking that step into the air above the harbor.

More than 250 students will take part in Ship Jump again this year. And, even if they’re apprehensive, they will look me in the eye, and they’ll know that we’re all in this together. They will be up for the challenge.