Alumni News


Memorial Plaza Dedicated

It was a bright, early morning event, a small gathering of alumni, families and friends, a pause that quietly punctuated the Homecoming weekend.
A memorial sponsored by the Class of 1962, commemorating MMA alumni who gave their lives serving their country or were lost at sea, was dedicated on September 28.
The eight-foot-wide granite monument is engraved with the names of 43 alumni and overlooks a new plaza behind the Alfond Student Center that also features a 3”/50 caliber gun, donated by the class of 1949, upon which early academy classes trained before shipping out to war.

President Bill Brennan noted “this memorial space is significant as an accessible place where we can come together and remember.

“We feel it fitting to honor our alumni who served as officers and crew aboard the El Faro as they are, sadly, those we lost most recently,” said Brennan. “I am personally thankful to have some of their families here with us today.”

Watch a brief video of the ceremony.

The MMA Honor Guard provided a 21-gun salute, and there was a moment of silence. Positioned down the hill from the memorial, regimental company officer, Lt. Kyle Willette played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes.

Class of ’62 representative Doug Scott then thanked the academy “for allowing us to take on this project as a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of our graduation. I know my classmates join with me in a solemn pledge to live our lives and do our duty in ways that would make those we honor today proud.

“I am pleased to say we had 100 percent participation,” added Scott, “with many classmates making additional donations in memory of classmates no longer with us.”

  • Washington DC Chapter
    Washington DC
    In The Game

    The motivated and energetic alumni base around our nation’s capital gathered for a tailgate party at the Maine Maritime Academy vs. Catholic University Cardinals football game on Saturday, November 10. Josh Collamer and Jason Grabelle, both class of 1998, hosted some 30 alumni, family, friends and academy officials, welcoming our football team on its initial visit to DC. Larry Burrill ’77 was honorary team captain during pregame coin flip, along with his business partner Joe Carlini (Catholic University alumnus). The previous evening, Burrill hosted a reception for area alumni at the Army Navy Club, a private, Five-Star Platinum Club on Washington, DC’s historic Farragut Square. It was a great event.

  • Tidewater Chapter
    Leadership Change

    Message from John “Chip” Callan, ’88: “Dear Tidewater Area MMA Alumni and Friends of MMA, With the change in seasons comes the change in the leadership for the Tidewater Area MMA Alumni Chapter. Mike Ward ’10 has cordially assumed the leadership position for our Alumni Chapter. I am fully confident Mike will enhance and improve the camaraderie of the chapter by bringing renewed energy to take us in the right direction. I hope you will continue to look for opportunities to volunteer and support Mike and the chapter. As I step down, I want to thank each of you for your participation and support of the chapter and future graduates of Maine Maritime Academy…”

  • Ned Andrews Chapter
    Hydrogen Tech Talk

    The Bath, Maine area chapter met November 15, 2018 at the China Rose Restaurant in Brunswick. The guest speaker was Craig Cunningham, Founder of Maine Manufacturing LLC in Sanford, Maine, who is now working on research and development on high efficiency hydrogen technology. It was an interesting discussion about hydrogen development and how it will change future energy needs on a global scale. Engineering professor Rich Kimball was in attendance, accepting an invitation extended to MMA faculty by Al Leeman ’92 and Leo Hill ’79.

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

  • Bangor Sea Dogs Chapter
    MMA License Plate

    Representatives from the chapter, in collaboration with the Alumni Relations Office, are working to create an MMA license plate. Initial steps are to design a series of plate mockups that would gain approval of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, create a robust marketing plan, and collect 2,000 pre-registrations (Maine vehicles only) at $25 per registration, within a 2-year period.

    If approved by the Maine Legislature the initiative is estimated to add $28,000 to the Alumni Association scholarship fund.

    Once approved by the Maine Legislature, the initiative is estimated to add a minimum of $28,000 to the MMA Alumni Association Scholarship Fund.

    Further details will be shared in upcoming editions of Shipmate, with an initiative launch announcement targeted for August 2019.

  • Puget Sound Chapter
    Puget Sound Chapter
    Informal Gatherings

    A group from the Puget Sound area gathered on Saturday, October 20 at the home of Minh ’90 and Emily Harriman in Mukilteo, Washington.

    In attendance was (shown above, front) Everett Cooper ’58, Sharyn Pohlman, MMA Major Gift Officer, Lauren Sakahara ’11, Minh Harriman ’90, Andrew Carr ’84, Eric King ’90, and David Hopkins ’84.

    Joe Curtis ’97, MMA Director of Career Services, attended the Pacific Marine Expo on November 18-20. Along with securing great field experience and employment leads, Curtis met with MMA alumni Chris Fay ’76 and Eric King ’90 at an informal gathering at the Elysian. This may become an annual event to incorporate a more formal reception, similar to the International WorkBoat Show.

    “Many thanks to Minh and Emily for the warm welcome for the alumni get together,” says Polman. “The conversation flowed from what’s new at MMA to what’s new with everyone.”

  • Southern California Chapter
    Annual Lobsterfest

    Offering an opportunity to eat Maine lobster (a.k.a. “lobsta”) and connect with other local alumni is just too good to pass up. That was the case again on July 28 at ZLAC Rowing Club in Pacific Beach overlooking Sail Bay and Crown Point peninsula in San Diego, California. Approximately 50 MMA alumni, family and friends representing classes from 1943-2 to 2015 and other maritime colleges participated in the 39th Annual Lobsterfest sponsored by the Southern California Chapter.

    In addition to MMA alumni, the chapter hosted guests from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, California Maritime Academy, Massachusetts Maritime Academy and SUNY Maritime College.

    The event was a special opportunity to celebrate Carlton Hutchins’ 95th birthday (MMA ’43-2) and the 18th birthday of Carlton’s granddaughter, Jasmine. Carlton was one of the founding members of the chapter. Frank Tepedino ’58 provided another of his handsomely crafted ship models for a raffle in support of the event. This year’s model of the Mayflower was won by Alex Waller ’15.

Save the Date

51st Annual Senior Banquet
February 6, 2019
Cross Insurance, Bangor

State Maritime Academies Leadership Conference
March 15-17, 2019

Student Life Awards Banquet
April 3, 2019

Texas Golf Classic
April 15, 2019
Woodlands Country Club / Palmer Course
Woodland, Texas

MMA Commencement
May 4, 2019

Class of 1964 55th Reunion
June 17-19, 2019

Class of 1959 60th Reunion
June 24-26, 2019

Homecoming 2019
September 19-22, 2019

For these event details and more:

  • Workboat Show
    Southwest Chapter
    Workboat Show

    Maine Maritime and Massachusetts Maritime co-hosted an annual alumni reception at the Westin Hotel, New Orleans on November 29 during the 2018 International WorkBoat Show. Jeff Wright, Alumni Relations Director, gave a briefing on the state maritime academy National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV)program, a MARAD initiative to replace our aging training ships. Special thanks to Richard “Dicky” Balzano ’89, Deputy Director of MARAD, for providing Jeff the key talking points regarding NSMV specifications, funding status and proposed timeline.

  • Bay State Chapter
    Admiral's Cup Tailgating

    Some 40 MMA alumni, family and friends attended the Admiral’s Cup football game tailgate event at Massachusetts Maritime Academy during their Homecoming on Saturday, September 15. Beautiful weather welcomed us to the Buzzard’s Bay campus for our special Maine clam chowder and a great spread of catered foods and favorite beverages by Red’s Pizza of Harwich, Massachusetts. The Buccaneers maintained the Admiral’s Cup with a 22-7 victory over our Mariners. Thanks to Sam Rowe ’65 and Al Lay ’75 for helping to get the word out.

  • Alumni Golfers
    Seacoast Chapter
    Scholarship Scramble

    The southern Maine and New Hampshire area chapter held its annual Alumni Scholarship Scramble on September 27. More than 100 golfers raised almost $20,000 to support deserving students attending MMA.

    The Seacoast Chapter has two endowed awards. The first is the Capt. Thomas Smith Award, given annually to the Cadet Captain of the TS State of Maine. Smith graduated in 1967 and sailed the world for Lykes Lines. He was a founding member of the Seacoast Chapter and served for many years as its treasurer.

    The second is the Paul Mercer Award, which goes each year to the Cadet Chief Engineer. Paul Mercer ’73 served as Director of Alumni Relations for many years, and just recently retired as the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Mercer has been a good friend to the chapter and a mentor and teacher to many alumni.

    The winning team was comprised of alumni from the class of 1986 (shown above): John “JP” Paulsen, Mark Eisenhaur, Shawn Longfellow, and Craig Burpee. The Seacoast Scholarship Scramble is held the Thursday before Homecoming in the Southern Maine/New Hampshire area.

    Each year the chapter also awards four additional scholarships to deserving students. This year’s recipients were: Chloe Smedley, junior, International Business & Logistics student, Wells, Maine; Nicholas Parker, senior, Marine Transportation Operations student, Newmarket, New Hampshire; Sheldon Parent, sophomore, Marine Engineering Technology student, Dayton, Maine; and Christopher Brassard, senior, International Business & Logistics student, Wells, Maine.

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