Alumni President’s Message

Moving to the Next Level

Jeff Wright

Jeff Wright

Editor’s Note: Alumni President Bill Full ’76 generously yielded his space in this issue for Director of Alumni Relations Jeff Wright to sign off after thirty-seven years of service at Maine Maritime Academy. He will be missed by everyone on campus and his shoes will be tough to fill.

Dear Maine Maritime Academy,

Sitting high above the eastern shores of the Penobscot River, you are the beacon of promise for goal-oriented, hands-on learners. Your graduates are well trained: they know the theoretical foundations of their disciplines but remain pragmatic in their approach with can-do attitudes. They are recognized around the world and highly sought by the traditional professions for which you were founded. They are also in demand by fields of study unimagined in the early years of your development. What a great testament this is to you.

Since arriving in July 1986, it has been a pleasure to have your beautiful hillside campus, your hallowed halls, and non-skid decks as my place of work (actually, more fun than work). As this year ends, I leave you with genuine respect, cherished memories, and sincere appreciation. I am forever grateful for the opportunities you presented me.

Being a native Downeaster (Milbridge), I am blessed to have been able to raise my family in this safe, friendly, and nurturing environment. I loved sharing my heritage with them.

I grew up working on the unforgiving sea, followed by my proud service in the US Navy as a surface warfare officer. Arriving at MMA, I immediately embraced your devotion to perpetuating Maine’s maritime heritage. Under your tutelage, I eagerly made your worthwhile mission my own.

You are an institution of higher learning that attracts an active, disciplined, and diverse group of faculty, staffers, and students. Every one of them is motivated to teach, learn, and support your most treasured commodity: knowledge. It has been so rewarding to be involved with your vibrant and robust campus atmosphere each day.

With over a million miles behind me, via land, sea, and air, working tirelessly to advance your respected name, I proudly shared your tale to all who were interested, extolling your virtues and acclaim, while cautioning of your demands and foibles. These collective experiences gifted me extraordinary friends and acquaintances, representing every decade of MMA’s existence, spanning the Seven Seas, and filling my heart with joy and fondness.

Although I am not one of your alumni, you have conferred upon me a most remarkable and memorable career. I will not leave MMA and Castine in my rearview mirror. (It’s a sentiment some alums still practice, but one I do not understand.) You, and all associated with you, have made such a profound and positive impact on my life. I will be around, because the road to Castine brought me to you, and your promise and purpose led me to a sea of fulfillment. Thank you, Maine Maritime Academy.

With sincere gratitude,
Jeff Wright
Jeff Wright
Company Officer, 1986–1988 / Assistant Admissions Director, 1988–1996 /
Director of Admissions, 1996–2016 / Director of Alumni Relations, 2016–2023

Photo: Rhonda Varney