In my remarks at Convocation each year, I welcome our new students to campus, and wish them much success in their education at Maine Maritime Academy. This year, I explained why I, as president of the college, would begin the academic year by jumping off the TS State of Maine with them. (It’s not because I like swimming in sub-arctic water at eight o’clock on a Sunday morning.) I join the students for Ship Jump for two reasons. First, I want to demonstrate that one leads by example. And, second, to demonstrate that we are in this together. We are one community. As mariners, we help each other and support one another.
One student wrote in a reflection following the event, “The most important lesson from his jump was that all of Maine Maritime Academy is a family.”
I embrace that idea. It is personal for me, since I grew up on the academy campus, but I see it manifest among faculty, among students, among our alumni classes, at Homecoming, between academy people and Castine folks, and the many transactions in which I engage.
That idea—we are one community and we support one another—is an invaluable part of the MMA experience. It is something we cultivate and work toward. We bring in a new class of students and guide them through New Student Orientation, Regimental Preparatory Training, and Convocation; or, we plan for Homecoming for months to organize activities that will bring new energy to the event each year.
Other times, that feeling of community just happens.
The sense of pride they brought back extended in a unique way.
This fall, during a special event that we hope will become an annual tradition, a group of students represented Maine Maritime Academy at an inter-academy Monomoy (rescue boat) challenge at SUNY Maritime, and won. They practiced for a few short weeks, committed, and then gave it all they had (see pg. 14). The spirited sense of pride they brought back to the academy extended to their classmates and colleagues in a way that was unique to my experience here as president. It was a proud moment, and a great start for our youngest members of the community who were involved.
In this issue, we celebrate the community spirit that enlivens Maine Maritime Academy. Our tight-knit campus and town are intertwined in many ways (read a story about Castine families who sponsor out-of-state MMA students in this issue).
As we plan for this year’s Holiday Open House to welcome neighbors and colleagues and share good cheer, I look forward to seeing everyone together. We are all the better for the close relationships we have—even the tough ones—and I am proud to be part of the community that is Maine Maritime Academy.█