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RELEASED 23 DECEMBER 2015

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

In the News

December 2015

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Message from the Superintendent

Dear Midshipmen, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, Parents and Friends:

I wish you and your families a joyous holiday season and a restful winter break. This has been another eventful year for the Academy.

Together with the new, we brought back two traditions in 2015. First, we were all happy to bring back spring break, which was on hiatus in 2014 due to time lost through the government’s lapse in funding. Also, this year our first class Midshipmen are again wearing letter jackets; which look great on campus.

Who comes to the Academy says something about who we are as an institution. We were honored to host some important guests and speakers in 2015. Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was our Battle Standard Dinner guest speaker. The presence of the nation’s senior military officer highlights Kings Point’s importance in American history and the vital role that Kings Pointers continue to play in serving our country in peace and war. We were also honored to host U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx at our annual Academic Convocation, celebrating the beginning the 2015-16 Academic Year. Maritime Administrator Paul N. Jaenichen, Sr., was the Academy’s Commencement speaker. The Administrator also welcomed the incoming Class of 2019 on Acceptance Day, and addressed the Regiment at the December change of command.

In our 79th Commencement we graduated 227 new Merchant Marine and Military Officers, as the Class of 2015 became our newest Kings Point Alumni. We then welcomed 255 plebe candidates of the Class of 2019. The new class maintains the outstanding profile of recent classes, with almost a third having graduated in the top 10% of their class, and with female enrollment at an Academy record 20%.

We were all very proud of our football, men’s soccer, and women’s volleyball teams as they swept the Secretaries’ Cup weekend with three victories over the Coast Guard Bears! It’s a great weekend every year, where both Academies’ Regiments are present at each game, and they were cheering loudly for their teams in the three very close contests.

The Regimental Band gave possibly their best performance I have heard when they performed for the opening of the LTJG Ralph E. Crump ’46 Merchant Marine Gallery at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. Capt. Ken Force, who in 2015 announced his plans to retire next year, has made outstanding contributions to the Academy, bringing national and international recognition to USMMA.

Our Varsity Intercollegiate Sailing Team returned to the I.C.S.A. National Championships this year. Our Department of Waterfront Operations and Training also got the plebe Class of 2019 underway on the T/V Kings Pointer for overnight cruises. These training trips provided the plebes an introduction to deck and engine operations aboard a merchant vessel, and provided the upperclassmen practical leadership experience.

Eight Bells rang this year for members of our Kings Point community and for the greater Merchant Marine community. Engineering Professor Capt. Elwood Charles Baumgart died in July. At his memorial service here he was remembered not only as a consummate professional and knowledgeable dedicated professor, but also more personally as a sports fan, and as a generous friend and shipmate with a big heart. In October we bid farewell to the Academy’s former Athletic Director, Susan Petersen Lubow. Much of the success of our Department of Physical and Education and Athletics was because of Sue. She was a strong leader with a great vision, and she had an unparalleled love for the Academy and our midshipmen.

The loss of the El Faro and its crew was felt across the Merchant Marine community and the maritime academies. The loss reminds us of the challenges of the sea, and the very purpose and importance of our work. Let us never forget the service these mariners, and all seafarers, provide to all Americans and our nation. Those who go out to the sea help defend our shores, and provide the lifeblood for our nation’s commerce.

This was also a year of transition. In July we welcomed Maureen “Mo” White on board to lead the Department of Physical Education and Athletics.   In October our Academic Dean Dr. Shashi Kumar left to serve as MARAD’s new Deputy Associate Administrator and National Coordinator for Maritime Education and Training. Engineering Professor Capt. David J. Palmer is serving as Interim Dean until the process of recruiting, selecting, and on-boarding the next full-time Academic Dean is completed. Lastly, Commandant of Midshipmen Capt. Jay Kennedy departed, and Capt. Robert “Bob” DeStafney took over as Acting Commandant until we installed our newest Commandant of Midshipmen, Capt. David B. Sosa. You can learn more about our newest Academy members at the linked articles.

We look forward to the year ahead, as the Class of 2016 prepares for graduation and careers providing vital support to our nation’s economic and defense needs. Meanwhile, the large number of diverse and highly qualified Class of 2020 candidates promises the Academy will continue to be a place of incomparable academic experiences for our Midshipmen!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday break, and I look forward to a great 2016 here at Kings Point!

Rear Admiral James A. Helis

 

 

USMMA Installs new Commandant

Capt. David B. Sosa, USMS, was installed as the Commandant of Midshipmen at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. In a ceremony attended by Deputy Maritime Administrator Mike Rodriguez ’79, the Regiment of Midshipmen, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the Academy, Superintendent Rear Adm. James A. Helis, USMS, appointed Sosa a Captain in the United States Maritime Service, administering the Oath of Office for Maritime Service Officers. Then Sosa formally relieved acting Commandant of Midshipmen, Capt. Robert “Bob” DeStafney, USMS.

Click Here for Full Story

 

 

 

McDaniels Leads Team Stars & Stripes to 15-14 Win In Tazón de Estrellas

Less than 24 hours after arriving in Mexico, Team Stars & Stripes ran a two-point play on the first day of practice, USMMA Midshipman 1st Class Matt McDaniels tossing a pass to fellow quarterback Brady Huber in the end zone. On Saturday that same play won the seventh annual Tazón de Estrellas at the Margarita Astiazrán de Fimbres Stadium in Baja.

Click Here for Full Story

 

 

USMMA Celebrates Midshipmen Return from Sea

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and Regiment of Midshipmen welcomed back 193 cadets who returned to the Academy after completing their Sea Year assignment, during a “Back From Sea Dinner.”

Midshipmen got a head start sharing stories a few days earlier, during the Academy’s first “Sea Story Sunday,” held in Land Hall.

Click Here for Full Story

 

 

USMMA’s Cookie Cafe Families Deliver Comfort to Maritime Academies Suffering the Loss of El Faro

A much loved custom at the Academy broke with tradition by taking their cookies to other maritime academies to bring comfort to students, alumni, faculty, staff and families who suffered the loss of a crew member aboard the El Faro lost during Hurricane Joaquin.

Click Here for Full Story

 

 

USMMA Science Club Inspires Young Scientists at National Chemistry Week Event

A team of 13 USMMA midshipmen and seven faculty members joined 20 schools and organizations giving chemistry presentations to hundreds of visitors to the New York Hall of Science’s annual National Chemistry Week.

Click Here for Full Story

 

 

The Army Goes “Sailing” Along – Army Leaders Introduce Midshipmen to Career Opportunities

Two U.S. Army Reserve vessels arrived at Kings Point and tied up at Mallory Pier in November. Over several days, U. S. Army Reserve leaders met with midshipmen and introduced them to the obligation-fulfilling career opportunities that are available to them as reservists aboard Army watercraft.

Click Here for Full Story

 

 

Wrestling team Selected to Compete at the NWCA National Duals in early January

The USMMA wrestling team has been invited to compete in the 2016 NWCA National Duals, which will be held Jan. 8-9 at the Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Ind. The Mariners are one of just 24 Division III programs that were invited to compete at the prestigious “Mat Mayhem” event. This is the first time in program history that the USMMA squad will compete in this highly-selective national event.

Click Here for Full Story

 

 

Kings Pointers Win Awards from the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity

The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity and its corporate sponsor, LRN, awarded two Class of 2015 graduates prizes for their submissions to the 2015 Elie Wiesel Foundation Prize in Ethics Essay Contest at a ceremony in New York City.

Click Here for Full Story

 

 

RELEASED 21 OCTOBER 2015 

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

In the News

October 2015

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Message from the Superintendent

Dear Midshipmen, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, Parents and Friends:

Events over the past two months brought moments of triumph, transition and loss to our Kings Point community.  October will be remembered as a time of great sadness. As most of you know, our beloved and much admired former Athletic Director Susan “Sue” Petersen Lubow passed away.  Much of the success of our Department of Physical and Education and Athletics was because of Sue. She was a strong leader with a great vision and she had an unparalleled love for the Academy and our midshipmen. During her memorial service, the Mariner’s Memorial Chapel was filled to capacity as she was remembered fondly by those who knew her and whose lives she touched. I offer my deepest condolences to her family, friends, former students and colleagues.

That same week, USMMA, the State Academies, and the entire U.S. Merchant Marine community kept vigil, hoping that the El Faro’s crew would be found. When the U.S. Coast Guard suspended the search for survivors, they also confirmed that one of our own had also been lost, Steven Wink Shultz, class of 1984. On behalf of the entire Academy community, I express our deepest con­dolences to their family, friends, co-workers, and the midshipmen, staff, and faculty who knew them.

The loss of the El Faro has sparked much discussion, reminding us of the challenges of the sea, and the very purpose and importance of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.  In the days and months ahead, as we prepare our midshipmen for their Sea Year and ca­reers, we will talk about safety at sea, the lessons being learned from this and other cases, and build the knowledge and skills that enable our mariners to keep themselves and their shipmates safe.

September was a much better month for Kings Point. We learned that two honored and highly respected members of our faculty have decided to move on to new exciting horizons.  During Parents Weekend, CAPT Ken Force, who has served as our Director of Music since 1971, announced that he plans to retire at the end of the Academic Year.  Our Academic Dean, Dr. Shashi Kumar, ac­cepted a position to serve as Deputy Associate Administrator and National Coordinator for Maritime Education and Training at Mar­itime Administration (MARAD) headquarters. In his new role, he will lead their efforts to build a pipeline of future merchant mari­ners for our nation, and working with State Maritime Academies to address the intersection between state and Federal maritime edu­cation, including training ship requirements. Dr. Kumar and CAPT Force will be missed at Kings Point.  We wish them well, and thank both for their immense and lasting contributions to the Academy.

Capt. David J. Palmer, USMS, Ph.D., is serving as our Interim Academic Dean. We added an article about him, including his bio, below.

We were all very proud of our football, men’s soccer, and women’s volleyball teams as they swept the Secretaries’ Cup weekend with three victories over the Coast Guard Bears! It’s a great weekend every year, where both Academies’ Regiments are present at each game, and they were cheering loudly for their teams in the three very close contests. We are rooting for all our teams as the seasons continue.

In other good news, it was great to see USMMA’s outstanding value recognized by U. S. Department of Education.  Among the 251 schools offering transportation programs, their new College Scorecard rated USMMA number one for “Salary after Attending” and “Percent Earning Above HS Grad,” seventh best for “Graduation Rate,” and in the top 10% for “Average Annual Cost.”  These are indicators that we provide a topnotch quality education, tremendous career opportunities for our midshipmen, and that they are in high demand both in industry and within the Armed Forces.

It was very good to hear from you during our recent town halls here at Kings Point and by call-in.  Please help us keep our lines of communications open, and don’t hesitate to contact us when you have questions, concerns or to let us know about someone who deserves praise.

Rear Admiral James A. Helis

 

USMMA Mourns the Passing of Former Athletic Director Sue Petersen Lubow

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy learned that a beloved and much admired, long-time member of our USMMA family, former Athletic Director Susan “Sue” Petersen Lubow, passed away.

Click Here for Full Story

 

USMMA Remembers and Honors El Faro Crew

On October 9th, during morning colors, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy hosted a ceremony to remember and honor the officers and crew who were lost aboard the El Faro, which sank in the Atlantic Ocean.

Click here for Full Story

 

Secretaries Cup Sweep – Football Opens Season with 14-3 Victory over Coast Guard to “Complete the Sweep”

The USMMA football team put the cherry on top of a great day around campus here in Kings Point for the host Mariners, as Merchant Marine defeated arch-rival Coast Guard, 14-3, in the 2015 season-opener at Brooks Stadium, to complete the sweep of the Bears in all three games hosted at Kings Point.

Click here for Full Story

 

USMMA Faculty Honored at Alumni Awards Dinner

The Academic Dean and Director of Music of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point were honored by the USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation at their start of Homecoming Awards Dinner.

Click Here for Full Story

 

Plebes Complete First Overnight Training Cruise

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy’s newest plebes, completed their first overnight training cruises aboard the training vessel, T/V Kings Pointer this month. The first of ten scheduled overnight trips for the Class of 2019 sailed August 13-14.

Click Here for Full Story

 

USMMA Announces New Interim Academic Dean

Capt. David J. Palmer, USMS, Ph.D., was appointed Interim Academic Dean of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

Click Here for Full Story

—KPNOLA—-

 

RELEASED 25 AUGUST 2015

IN THE NEWS

AUGUST 2015

The 2015-2016 academic year is off to a good start with the plebe class of 2019’s Acceptance Day and their first Command Inspection. In addition to stories about the Academy’s milestone events, this newsletter includes both sad and happy news on two members of our USMMA community.

Message from the Superintendent

We lost a treasured and respected member of the Academy, CAPT Elwood Baumgart. At our memorial service he was remembered as a consummate professional and knowledgeable dedicated professor, as well as a sports fan, and as a generous friend and shipmate with a big heart.

On a happier note, we are proud of assistant coach Bill Polian who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Polian was an assistant at the Academy for five years under former Mariner head coach George Paterno during the 1970’s.

Your thoughts and comments are important to us.  Please mark your calendar.  We will host our next call-in town hall on Wednesday, 16 September.  Details will be shared via this newsletter distribution list.

I look forward to seeing many of you at Parents Weekend and Secretaries Cup.

Rear Admiral James A. Helis

 

Class of 2019 Joins the Regiment of Midshipmen and U.S. Navy Reserve on Acceptance Day USMMA welcomed 243 “plebe candidates” of the Class of 2019 into the Regiment of Midshipmen as they took USMMA’s Corps of Cadets Oath administrated by Rear Adm. James A. Helis, Ph.D., Superintendent of USMMA, during the Acceptance Day Ceremony and Parade. They were then sworn in as midshipmen in the U.S. Navy Reserve by Rear Adm. Mark R, Whitney, Deputy Commander, Logistics, Maintenance and Industrial Operations Naval Sea Systems Command.Click Here for Full Story.
Former Mariner Assistant Bill Polian Inducted Into Pro Football Hall Of Fame Former USMMA assistant coach Bill Polian was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Polian was an assistant at the Academy for five years under former Mariner head coach George Paterno during the 1970’s. During his tenure at USMMA, Polian coached current head coach Mike Toop. Click here for full story.
USMMA Command Inspection Fingers sweeping for dust. Eyes peering into drawers and closets. Plebes trembling at attention. These were common themes at The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Command Inspection, held on August 15th, in which members of the Regimental staff and guests examined more than 600 barracks rooms with an eye to ensuring the health and welfare of Academy midshipmen. Click Here for Full Story
USMMA Community Remembers CAPT BaumgartFriends, colleagues and midshipmen of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point held a memorial service yesterday, remembering and honoring CAPT Elwood Charles Baumgart, USMS, Professor in the Department of Engineering, who died on July 31.Click here for full story
USMMA Advisory Board Presents 2015 Annual Report to Congressional Board of Visitors The USMMA Advisory Board presented their 2015 Annual Report to the Secretary of Transportation to the Academy’s Congressional Board of Visitors, at the Capital Visitors Center in Washington D.C.Click Here for Full Story.
Midshipmen Train Service Dogs for the BlindAs Posted by Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen on the Fastlane DOT BlogSince 2006, Kings Pointers have participated in the foundation’s Guide Dog Raising Program. Each year, two midshipmen are selected to raise loving service dogs to aid visually impaired Americans in their everyday lives.Click here for full story

 

—-KPNOLA—-

RELEASED 30 JUNE 2015

IN THE NEWS

We are in the midst of that great transition, as our graduating class joins the ranks of Kings Pointers whose leadership and service all around the globe make us proud, and a new class is starting to face the leadership and service challenges of Kings Point. I wish both well as they face new challenges and opportunities.

Message from the Superintendent

The events and activities presented in this newsletter edition highlight initiatives and service by our Midshipmen, staff, faculty, alumni and friends of the Academy.  These include organizing major events, like the Battle Standard Dinner, Women on the Water Conference, and Commencement; initiatives such as our regimental Auto Club’s first ever auto show; personal accomplishments such as USMMA Safety Officer Peter DeJesus’ MARAD Employee of the Quarter award; and financial contributions such as the Merrill and Hedy Thurston Living Trust contribution for significant upgrades to Barstow Mansion. Their deeds enhance the Academy’s academic excellence, and the quality of life. 

I look forward to hearing about accomplishments of our Class of 2015, and to getting our Class of 2019 off to a challenging start.

Rear Admiral James A. Helis

Maritime Administrator Delivers USMMA’s 79th Commencement Address

On Saturday, June 20th, USMMA Point graduated 227 new Merchant Marine and Military Officers as part of its Class of 2015 commencement ceremony. The keynote speaker, Maritime Administrator, Paul N. Jaenichen, Sr., gave the commencement address before a crowd of more than 2,200 including graduates, family members and representatives from the federal government, U.S. military and maritime industry.

Click here for full story.

 

USMMA’s First Auto Show a Great Success

On May 20, 2015 close to 1,000 spectators attended the first auto show ever to be held on the grounds of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA). The event, which was hosted by the regimental Auto Club, included about 100 classic, historic and modified vehicles. Club Advisor, CAPT Peter Kahl, Professor of Marine Engineering and Shipyard Management, said, “I am extremely proud of the way the car club officers and members carried out this event. The leadership traits that we are officially trying to generate in our students were all evident today: tenacity, selflessness, loyalty, vision, communication, technical skill, and resilience.”

Click here for full story.

 

USMMA Safety Officer Named MARAD Employee of the Quarter

United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) Safety Officer Peter DeJesus, was recognized as a Maritime Administration Employee of the Quarter for the final quarter of fiscal year 2014.  DeJesus, who has worked at USMMA for the past sixteen years, was recognized by Maritime Administrator, Paul N. Jaenichen for “exhibiting extraordinary commitment and dedication to providing the highest level of daily security activities at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.”

Click here for full story.

 

The United States Merchant Marine Academy Hosts 7th
Annual Women on the Water Conference

In March, the USMMA hosted the seventh Women on the Water (WOW) Conference at Kings Point. The Conference brought cadets from the State Maritime Academies and midshipmen from the United States Merchant Marine Academy together with professional women and men who are leaders in various sectors of the maritime industry. The event was an excellent opportunity for the cadets/midshipmen and maritime professionals to learn about the exciting careers that are available to them directly from successful women and men in the maritime industry.

Click here for full story.

 

American Merchant Marine Museum Receives Largest
Donation in Its History

In February, the Maritime Administration formally accepted a gift of $766,670.90 on behalf of the American Merchant Marine Museum, located on the McNulty Campus of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA). The gift, which was donated by the Merrill and Hedy Thurston Living Trust, will result in significant upgrades to Barstow Mansion. Prof. Joshua Smith said, “These upgrades will allow the Museum to continue to preserve, honor, and interpret the heritage of American merchant mariners for midshipmen and the public.”

Click here for full story.

 

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Visits USMMA

On Monday, March 18, 2015 General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited the USMMA. General Dempsey was the guest speaker at the 2015 Battle Standard Dinner, an annual event at USMMA, that honors the memories of the 142 Cadet-Midshipmen who lost their lives during World War II. The program also included time to remember four recent graduates who lost their lives serving in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. “It was a great honor to host General Dempsey at the US Merchant Marine Academy,” said Rear Admiral James A. Helis, Superintendent.

Click here for full story.

—KPNOLA—

RELEASED 23 JUNE 2015

From Maritime Administrator Chip Jaenichen:

Our Nation is deeply reliant on its maritime industry, marine transportation system, and seagoing services.

That’s why the Maritime Administration is proud to support and partner with the US Merchant Marine Academy, and why I was extremely honored to address the USMMA Class of 2015 at their commencement in Kings Point, NY, last Saturday.

Since its establishment in 1943, Kings Point has been training and educating young men and women to serve as officers in the U.S. Merchant Marine, the U.S. Armed Forces, and our Nation’s waterborne transportation industry…

You can read more on our Fast Lane blog.

—-KPNOLA—-

RELEASED 26 MAY 2015

From Maritime Administrator Chip Jaenichen:

On Memorial Day, we pause to recognize the sacrifice of and honor those who have given their last measure of devotion to defend the United States.

We should reflect and offer our gratitude to these soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, and Coast Guardsmen, but we can also never forget the no less courageous men and women of the U.S. Merchant Marine.

For 240 years, our merchant mariners have helped protect American freedom at home and abroad…

You can read more about our mariners on our Fast Lane blog.

—–KPNOLA—-

RELEASED 21 MAY 2015

From Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen:

From barges that move coal to vessels that carry vital pharmaceuticals and construction materials to ships that transport military cargo overseas, mariners and marine transportation play crucial roles in our society.  Each year on May 22, we observe National Maritime Day to honor the U.S. Merchant Mariners who have served and continue to serve our nation.

National Maritime Day commemorates those merchant mariners who made the ultimate sacrifice while also highlighting the growing global dependence on maritime services.

It also gives us an opportunity to ensure that we encourage and prepare our next generation of merchant mariners, who will be essential to tomorrow’s maritime industry…

You can read more on our Fast Lane blog.

—-KPNOLA—-

RELEASED 31 MARCH 2015

From Maritime Administrator Chip Jaenichen:

In his Presidential Proclamation marking Women’s History Month, President Obama reminded us that March will recognize the “countless pioneering women who have called not only for the absence of oppression, but for the presence of opportunity.”

So it was no coincidence last week that the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy hosted the 7th annual Women on the Water (WOW) Conference in Kings Point, NY.

This 3-day event brought together female mariners –from Midshipmen and cadets to captains– to learn about exciting maritime careers, discuss the transition from academy to industry, and discover a variety of professional development opportunities…

You can read more on our Fast Lane blog.

—-KPNOLA—-

RELEASED 16 MARCH 2015

From Deputy Maritime Administrator Mike Rodriguez:

America’s maritime strength depends upon U.S. merchant mariners who serve aboard ocean-going commercial, sealift, and military vessels.

That’s why the Maritime Administration (MARAD) places such a high priority on education at the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point (USMMA) and why MARAD also provides strong support and guidance to the six state maritime academies in California, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, and Texas.

Through our continued support, we’re working to guarantee that skilled, trained, and experienced U.S. mariners are available to assure a robust future for America…

You can read more on our Fast Lane blog.

—–KPNOLA—-  

RELEASED 30 DECEMBER 2014

A Momentous Year for MARAD

With over 95% of all U.S. foreign trade by volume moving across oceans onboard ever-increasing sized vessels, barge tows transporting millions of tons of coal and other bulk commodities on our inland waterways, and government-owned and commercial vessels carrying U.S. military equipment and supplies to and from overseas contingencies, our Nation’s reliance on marine transportation is stronger today than it has ever been.

As the agency within the DOT that develops and promotes American marine transportation and the U.S. Merchant Marine, the Maritime Administration—or “MARAD”—works diligently to ensure the dependability and security of this system along with its intermodal connections for the movement of people and freight. With 2014 coming to a close, I have been impressed with my team and proud to look back on what has been a highly productive year for MARAD.  Most importantly, we delivered results on a number of measures to accomplish our mission…

You can read more on our Fast Lane blog.

—-KPNOLA—-

RELEASED 31 0CTOBER 2014

Message from Rear Admiral Helis

We have enjoyed an eventful summer and fall at Kings Point.  In August, the Academy was named to the National Register of Historic Places.  This stands as recognition of the key role the US Merchant Marine Academy has played in the nation’s history.  We must never forget the contributions and sacrifices made by the Academy, Midshipmen, and alumni, and pledge ourselves to continue that legacy of service each and every day.

In June, Secretary of Transportation Foxx, Maritime Administrator Jaenichen, Senator Charles Schumer, and Representatives Steve Israel and Timothy Bishop joined the Academy in officially rechristening the new Kings Pointer.  The new training vessel took her first official training cruise in June between graduation and Indoctrination for the Class of 2018.  Captain Adam Donohoe recently joined us the vessel’s new master.  The next cruise is scheduled for fall break in early November.

The Class of 2014 graduated on 21 June.  Admiral Michelle Howard, now Vice Chief of Naval Operations, was the keynote speaker.  Rear Admiral (ret) Mark Buzby, KP ’79, also addressed the class.  It was a beautiful day to celebrate the accomplishments of the 225 graduates, who now serve in the maritime industry and the Armed Forces worldwide.

The Class of 2018 arrived on 2 July.  Under the leadership of the Class of 2014, they successfully completed Indoctrination and were accepted into the Regiment in August.  The Academy hosted the plebe parents with open houses, information briefings, and Friday evening performances on Barney Square by the Band and the revitalized Regimental Chorus.  Rear Admiral Thomas K. Shannon, Commander of Military Sealift Command, addressed the new plebes and their parents and administered the oath of office for the US Navy Reserve Strategic Sealift Officer program. 

Over the summer, senior leadership from the Department of Transportation, the Maritime Administration, and the Academy met with both the Congressional Board of Visitors and the Secretary’s Advisory Board.  The Advisory Board delivered its annual report to the Secretary and briefed its recommendations to the Board of Visitors.  In accord with Secretary Foxx’s direction, we have undertaken implementation of some of the key recommendations.  At the center of our efforts is the design of a comprehensive leadership development program that integrates academic and regimental experiences and places leadership development at the forefront of the Academy experience.  We know Kings Point graduates good leaders. We are seeking to strengthen the leadership development experience for each midshipman.  Our goal is to further enhance midshipmen leadership and ensure each one acquires the skills necessary to succeed in the ever changing global landscape.  Deputy Commandant Captain Bob DeStafney leads a working group of faculty and staff who have been at work on this important effort.

As we finalize the renovations for Delano and Cleveland Halls, we have begun the design phases for zero deck, the sewer plant and the electrical grid.   With the completion of geothermal drilling, the central area of the campus has been fully opened with repaving of the roads and walkways and restoration of the landscaping.  We also formally dedicated the new Mallory Pier in May, perhaps the most visible sign of the major revitalization of the Academy’s facilities.

 

United States Merchant Marine Academy and American Merchant Marine Museum Added to National Register of Historic Places

The National Park Service announced that the campus of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point and the Barstow Mansion, home to the American Merchant Marine Museum on USMMA’s McNulty Campus, have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Click here for full story.

 

2015 Women on the Water Conference to be Held at USMMA

The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point will host the seventh Women on the Water (WOW) Conference at Kings Point, NY, on March 25-27, 2015. The Conference will bring cadets from the State Maritime Academies and midshipmen from USMMA together with professional women and men who are leaders in various sectors of the maritime industry. The event will be an excellent opportunity for the cadets/midshipmen and maritime professionals to learn about the exciting careers that are available to them directly from successful women and men, as well as hear about current issues affecting the maritime industry. Click here for full story.

 

250 Plebes Accepted Into USMMA’s Regiment of Midshipmen

On Saturday, August 9th, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point welcomed 250 “plebe candidates” of the Class of 2018 into the Regiment of Midshipmen. Click here for full story.

 

USMMA Ranked #2 Public College in the Region by “U.S. News and World Report”

Once again the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point has been named America’s second best public regional college in the North and third best regional college according to the 2015 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings. Click here for full story.

 

USMMA Advisory Board 2014 Report Released

On July 29, 2014, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) released a copy of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) Advisory Board‘s Annual Report, which identifies key recommendations that will help fulfill the goals and objectives outlined in the Academy’s Strategic Plan. These recommendations relate to: Cutting-Edge Programs; Leadership; Campus Culture; Infrastructure; and Communication and Partnerships.  Click here for full story.

 

Secretary Foxx Letter in Response to Advisory Board Report

Click here for full response.

 

225 Merchant Marine and Military Officers Graduate From USMMA

On June 21, 2014, The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point graduated 225 new Merchant Marine and Military Officers as part of its Class of 2014 commencement ceremony. The keynote speaker, Vice Admiral Michelle J. Howard, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy, gave the commencement address before a crowd of more than 2,300 including special guest Deputy Secretary of Transportation Victor M. Mendez, graduates, family members and representatives from the federal government, U.S. military and maritime industry.  Click here for full story. 

 

USMMA Rechristens Training Vessel Kings Pointer

On June 17, 2014, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Acting Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen visited the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) to celebrate the rechristening of the Academy’s new training vessel, the Kings Pointer.  They were joined by Rear Admiral James Helis, Superintendent, as well as Senator Charles Schumer and Representatives Timothy Bishop and Steve Israel.  Click here for full story.

. Merchant Marine Academy, 300 Steamboat Road, Kings Point, New York, 11024

  1. www.usmma.edu Office of External Affairs 516-726-6048

—–KPNOLA—-

RELEASED 14 OCTOBER 2014

The National Park Service has announced that the campus of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point and the Barstow Mansion, home to the American Merchant Marine Museum on USMMA’s McNulty Campus, have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

This designation recognizes USMMA’s  historical significance to the nation, and acknowledges the architectural importance of the buildings.

“The addition of USMMA’s campus and the American Merchant Marine Museum to the National Register guarantees that the rich history of the Academy will be preserved for all Americans –not just Kings Pointers.” said Rear Admiral James A. Helis.

Read more on our Fast Lane blog.

—–KPNOLA—-

RELEASED 19 SEPTEMBER 2014

From Maritime Administrator Chip Jaenichen:

On September 19th, I had the distinct honor of personally thanking the all-volunteer U.S. Merchant Marine crew of the M/V CAPE RAY upon completion of a historic and unprecedented task.

The M/V CAPE RAY—one of the 46 Ready Reserve Force vessels maintained by the Maritime Administration— was modified into an at-sea facility to safely destroy the Syrian regime’s declared chemical weapons stockpile.

This was a unique mission, but the crew continued the U.S. Merchant Marine’s proud legacy of service and sacrifice for freedom and prosperity by accomplishing unprecedented work. The CAPE RAY has helped make our world safer, and we are truly grateful for a job well done…

You can read more on our Fast Lane blog. And don’t forget to follow the Maritime Administration on Facebook!

—-KPNOLA—-

RELEASED 5 AUGUST 2014

BOV MEETING 16 JULY 2013 MINUTES

 http://www.marad.dot.gov/documents/BOV_16_JUL_MEETING_MINUTES_(Final).pd

—–KPNOLA—-

RELEASED 30 JULY 2014

Secretary of Transportation, Anthony R. Foxx, responding to the Advisory Board’s Report

 Advisory Board ‘s Annual Report,

—–KPNOLA—-

RELEASED 8 JULY 2014

On July 2, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY, opened its doors to the Class of 2018, 252 young men and women who started their transportation careers last Wednesday as plebe candidates.

INDOC Day, as it is known among the Kings Point community, kicks-off a 20-day indoctrination period of intense physical, academic, and regimental training to begin transforming these recent high school graduates into future leaders and licensed maritime officers…

You can read more on our Fast Lane blog.

—-KPNOLA—-

RELEASED 26 JUNE 2014

Since the early days of this nation, U.S. mariners have been central to our economy and to our security. And they continue to play a central role today.

That’s why supporting the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY is paramount to the Department of Transportation and the Maritime Administration. It’s why we’ve invested significantly in the academy’s capital improvement plan–including ongoing barracks renovation, a rebuilt Mallory Pier, and the new T/V Kings Pointer.

And it’s why Acting Maritime Administrator Chip Jaenichen and I were so thrilled to join the Kings Point community last Saturday for the academy’s 78th commencement…

You can read more about commencement and the Class of 2014 on the

USDOT Fast Lane blog.

—KPNOLA—

RELEASED 17 JUNE 2014 

For decades, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY, has been preparing leaders for service in the Merchant Marine, our Armed Forces, and other transportation careers.

Several years ago, the Department of Transportation pledged to restore Kings Point as a jewel among America’s five service academies. And the academy’s new training vessel, Kings Pointer –which we rechristened yesterday– is one sign that–together–we are working together to make good on that pledge…

You can read more about Kings Point on our Fast Lane blog.

—-KPNOLA—-

RELEASED 4 JUNE 2014

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

In the News

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

 

Message from Rear Admiral Helis

Licensing examinations and graduation for the Class of 2014 are upon us.  I wanted to pass on an update on the Academy before the end of the 2013-2014 Academic Year.

We continue to make progress on upgrading our facilities.  The Delano Hall project is in its final stages with the construction of a new loading dock.  Rodgers Hall is on track to reopen in September 2014, which will complete the barracks renovations.  And the Mallory Pier replacement is complete, with a new concrete pier in place that will serve the waterfront for decades to come.  Concurrent with the completion of Mallory Pier, the new Kings Pointer, with a crew including staff, faculty, and midshipmen, sailed from her temporary berth in Virginia to the Academy.  Our faculty have already begun using the Kings Pointer as a floating classroom.

We are making good progress to enhance security on campus, bringing the Academy in line with standards for security of federal facilities and adopting best practices for campus security.  This year we deployed a new armed and better-trained guard force.  We activated a command center that allows the guards to monitor the cameras and call boxes and coordinate response to any incidents.  And we turned on an electronic access system for the barracks in May.  We will continue to improve our security programs as we make Kings Point the safest campus in America.

As we prepare to say farewell to the class of 2014, the class of 2018 is scheduled to arrive on 2 July.  The Admissions Office and our dedicated volunteers continue to spread the good word about Kings Point.  Our preliminary data indicates this class will have higher SATs and greater diversity than any class in memory.  We significantly improved the process for offering appointments from the Secretary of Transportation, which enabled us to further enhance diversity and bring in over thirty candidates of special value to the Academy.

We welcomed Mr. Jim Connett as the new Director of Public Works.  Mr. Connett joins us from the Federal Aviation Administration, where he was facilities manager for the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City.  Mr. Connett served a temporary detail at the Academy in 2012 and eagerly returned in a permanent capacity.

The Academy and the Regiment continue to benefit from the generosity of our alumni.  The Class of 1962 has funded midshipmen participation in leadership and professional development events across the country throughout the year.  And the USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation provided a large gift that will support our athletic programs and many other activities and departments.  We are grateful for the support that enables us to provide a margin of excellence to the midshipmen’s experience.

T/V Kings Pointer Ties Up at the United States Merchant Marine Academy

On Saturday evening, April 12th, the T/V Kings Pointer, the United States Merchant Marine Academy’s (USMMA) newest training vessel tied up at her home port, Kings Point. The vessel, formerly the M/V Liberty Star, once served as a Solid Rocket Booster Recovery Vessel for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Click here for full story.

DOT Chief of Staff Visits USMMA

On Friday March 28, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Chief of Staff, Sarah Feinberg visited the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point. Following a briefing by Superintendent, Rear Admiral James A. Helis, Ms. Feinberg joined the Admiral for a quick tour of the campus. “We were very happy to have Ms. Feinberg visit the USMMA.  She reiterated Secretary Foxx’s ongoing commitment to USMMA.”  Click here for full story.

 

USMMA Regimental Band and Color Guard in NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade

On Monday, March 17th, the United States Merchant Marine Academy’s (USMMA) Regimental Band and Color Guard marched in New York City’s 253rd St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  The band was selected to escort the honorees of this year’s parade, The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), on their 100th Anniversary in New York. Also marching with the GAA was the Honorable Enda Kenny, the Taoiseach of Ireland.   Click here for full story.

 

Kings Pointer to Lead 130 Soldiers in Afghanistan

USMMA Alumnus, CPT David Taliaferro, Class of 2007, has been chosen to lead 130 soldiers of the New York Army National Guard’s 133rd Quartermaster Company / U.S. Central Command Materiel Recovery Element (CMRE), based out of Fort Hamilton, NY, during their mobilization and deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Click here for full story.

 

Campus Construction Updates

USMMA continues progress in its Capital Improvement Plan. Click here for full story.

 

Class of 1962 Continues Giving Back to USMMA

In February, the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) received a gift of $50,000 from the United States Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Foundation (USMMAAF) on behalf of the Class of 1962.  This generous donation will be placed in the Class of 1962 Fund for Midshipmen Professional and Leadership Development.
This is the second installment of an even larger gift which will total $375,000.  Click here for full story.

 

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Named One of Our Nation’s “Best Value Colleges”

On January 28, 2014, The Princeton Review released its annual list of the nation’s “Best Value Colleges”. The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) is one of 75 public colleges that have received this honor.  USMMA has been on the Princeton Review’s list of “Best Value Colleges” every year since the project began in 2004.  Click here for full story.

 —-KPNOLA—-

RELEASED 2 JUNE 2014

Last Friday, we celebrated one of the results of our ongoing commitment to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA)–a newly reconstructed

Mallory Pier.

If we are going to ask our USMMA graduates to serve their country with distinction, it’s only appropriate that we should provide them the tools and resources to prepare them for that effort. America deserves first-rate mariners, and Kings Point attracts first-rate students who give a hundred and ten percent every day. They deserve first-rate facilities to prepare them for service, including a modern waterfront.

With the 2012 addition of a state-of-the-art training vessel, the T/V Kings Pointer, and now a new Mallory Pier, DOT has made that waterfront a reality.

You can read more about Mallory Pier, the Kings Point waterfront, and the Academy on our Fast Lane blog

—-KPNOLA—-

RELEASED 27 MAY 2014

Each Memorial Day, Americans gather to pay tribute to those who have been lost serving our nation. As part of this year’s observance, I had the honor of escorting two World War II Merchant Marine veterans, VADM Bob Scarborough, USCG (Ret.) and Mr. Jack Krogmann, who presented a wreath at the National World War II Memorial to recognize the service of the U.S. Merchant Marine. 

After meeting these two, I feel compelled to share Jack Krogmann’s story. During World War II, he served as a 3rd Mate in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean while completing his training at the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA). Mr. Krogmann served on two American vessels that fell victim to enemy submarine attacks…

You can read more about the heroic service of our merchant mariners on our Fast Lane blog

—-KPNOLA—

RELEASED 22 MAY 2014

Today, National Maritime Day, we commemorate the courage, service, and sacrifice of the men and women of the United States Merchant Marine, who since the founding of our republic have played crucial roles ensuring our nation’s security and expanding our economy.

Today, as in previous conflicts, the U.S. Merchant Marine serves in support of the Department of Defense —delivering more than 90 percent of the cargo needed to support military operations and reconstruction efforts in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

While America’s merchant mariners remain vital to our national security, they continue to support our economy. With more than 75 percent of our international trade goods currently moving by water, merchant mariners are a fundamental facilitator of modern American life…

You can read more about National Maritime Day and the U.S. Merchant Marine on our Fast Lane blog.

—-KPNOLA—-

RELEASED 19 MARCH 2014

The entire U.S.Merchant Marine Academy community is proud of our rich history of service. Since the Academy was established in 1943, Kings Point alumni have served in every overseas conflict and have assisted communities here at home during crises and natural disasters like the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Sandy.

This month, that proud traditions continues as CPT David Taliaferro (USMMA ’07) leads 130 soldiers of the New York Army National Guard’s 133rd Quartermaster Company during their mobilization and deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom…

You can read more about Capt. Taliaferro and Kings Point on our Fast Lane blog.

—-KPNOLA—–

RELEASED 17 JANUARY 2014

Yesterday, we concluded the Maritime Administration’s first National Maritime Strategy Symposium, and we’re pleased that it included so many leaders who work every day providing for the economic and national security of our nation’s waterways.

The U.S.-Flag commercial fleet, crewed by U.S. merchant mariners, provides safe, reliable, and environmentally-responsible transport of cargo to support economic activity –both domestically and internationally. Maritime trade is a critical part of our country’s economy.

That’s why the three day symposium was so important…

You can read more about the first National Maritime Symposium on our Fast Lane blog.

—–KPNOLA—-

RELEASED 18 DECEMBER 2013

Ordinarily, we try not to burden subscribers between editions of In The News. However, USMMA Superintendent RADM James A. Helis has penned a blog post for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fast Lane that we think would be welcomed by followers of the Academy.

Here’s a brief sample:

“Congratulations to the faculty and staff here at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY.  Their achievements this year–honored last week at the annual Maritime Administration awards ceremony–are a testament to the continued improvements being carried out every day at the Academy…”
 

You can read more from RADM Helis about Kings Point faculty and staff awardees on the DOT Fast Lane blog.

—–KPNOLA—–

RELEASED 11 DECEMBER 2013

Here at the Department of Transportation, a critical part of our mission is to improve our transportation system and help grow our national economy. For the Maritime Administration (MARAD), that means using all of the resources we have available to develop our nation’s ports.

It might surprise you to know these resources include assets other than grant funding, but a couple of weeks ago, I was in New Orleans to participate in the official land transfer of the Poland Street Wharf to the Port of New Orleans…

You can read more about the Obama Administration’s support for the Port of New Orleans on our Fast Lane blog.

—-KPNOLA—-

RELEASED 21 NOVEMBER 2013

One of the United States Maritime Administration’s top priorities is to recruit, empower and support women in the maritime industry.

We’ve established two different diversity committees at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) to increase the number of female midshipmen and faculty members. It’s also why the Department of Transportation (DOT) has created the Women and Girls Program, which encourages women to pursue transportation careers.

MARAD recognizes that women are an untapped resource in an industry that needs new professionals. And that’s why, last week, we hosted the annual Women on the Water (WOW) conference…

You can read more about Women On The Water on our Fast Lane blog.

——-KPNOLA—–

RELEASED 24 SEPTEMBER 2013

Ensuring that producers and suppliers can ship freight effectively from coast to coast and to markets around the world is a key part of the DOT mission. But when American forces are deployed abroad, the cargo supporting their efforts becomes particularly important, and our Maritime Administration (MARAD) works hard to sustain our troops with the food, equipment, and personnel they need to do their jobs and return home safely.

Yesterday at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, Acting Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen reminded students that “logistics matter.”

The business of moving, supplying, and maintaining our joint forces is critical to their success…

You can read more about MARAD’s role in supporting US forces on our

Fast Lane blog.

——-KPNOLA——

RELEASED 17 SEPTEMBER 2013

From RADM James A. Helis, PhD:

Like most colleges across the nation in early September, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY, has seen a burst of activity in the past couple of weeks. 

And although I’m sure many Academy fans would rather hear about the Mariners’ 27-20 win over the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Bears in last weekend’s football matchup, I’ll lead off with a few words about Acceptance Day…

You can read more about Kings Point on our

Fast Lane blog.

——KPNOLA—-

RELEASED 13 SEPTEMBER 2013

Each day at the Maritime Administration we work tirelessly to achieve our mission to foster, promote, and develop the merchant maritime industry of the United States.  Ensuring that our maritime industry continues to thrive is an economic and national security imperative.

So, when the Duluth Seaway Port Authority was selected last week to receive a grant from DOT’s 2013 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grant program, I jumped at the chance to visit the Port of Duluth-Superior and make the $10 million grant announcement…

You can read more about TIGER and the Port of Duluth on our

Fast Lane blog.

—-KPNOLA—-

RELEASED 9 JULY 2013

Last week, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy was proud to welcome the Class of 2017 to Kings Point, where 238 plebe candidates took their first steps toward a lifetime of leadership and service.

The new candidates make up one of the most diverse classes in Academy history, and we look forward to seeing the entire class learn, grow and serve their country…

You can read more about the US Merchant Marine Academy’s INDOC on our

Fast Lane blog.

—–KPNOLA—–

RELEASED 2 JULY 2013

Today, I am thrilled to begin serving as the 17th U.S. Secretary of Transportation.  In my first official blog post, I wanted to tell you more about myself and my goals for leading DOT.

I believe in safe, effective transportation, and whether it is a bus, road, train, plane, or ship, our transportation system –at its best– connects people to a better quality of life…

You can read more from newly sworn-in Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx on our Fast Lane blog.

——-KNOLA——-

RELEASED 2 JULY 2013

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx Sworn in as 17th U.S. Secretary of Transportation

WASHINGTON – Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx was sworn in as the nation’s 17th Secretary of Transportation by Judge Nathaniel Jones in a private ceremony at U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters at 11 a.m. today. The ceremony was attended by Foxx’s wife, Samara, and their two children, Hillary and Zachary, and used a Bible belonging to Secretary Foxx’s great-grandparents, Peter and Ida Kelly. Secretary Foxx worked for Judge Jones as a law clerk for the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals after law school and invited Judge Jones to administer the oath of office today.

Secretary Foxx is spending his first full day meeting employees and holding meetings on important issues facing the Department, including transportation safety and hurricane and severe weather preparedness. Foxx was confirmed by the full U.S. Senate in a unanimous vote of 100-0 on June 27.

In a written message to all employees, Secretary Foxx underscored his commitment to safety:

“Safety will remain our top priority at DOT. At the same time, I will work to improve the efficiency and performance of our current transportation system while building the infrastructure we need for future generations,” said Secretary Foxx. “In doing so, I look forward to bringing my ‘on the ground’ experiences as a mayor, while embracing the tremendous knowledge, skill and ingenuity of the DOT workforce and our many stakeholders.”

As Secretary of Transportation, Foxx leads an agency with more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget that oversees air, maritime, and surface transportation.

Prior to his confirmation, Foxx served as the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, from 2009 to 2013. During that time, he made efficient and innovative transportation investments the centerpiece of Charlotte’s job creation and economic recovery efforts. These investments included extending the LYNX light rail system, expanding Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, and starting the Charlotte Streetcar project. Prior to being elected mayor, Foxx served two terms on the Charlotte City Council as an At-Large Representative, where he chaired the Transportation Committee.

Secretary Foxx is an attorney and has spent much of his time in private practice. In addition to his work as a law clerk, he served as a trial attorney for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and as staff counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary.

Foxx received a law degree from New York University’s School of Law as a Root-Tilden Scholar, the University’s prestigious public service scholarship. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Davidson College.

To download the official photograph of today’s swearing in, visit: http://www.dot.gov/sites/dot.dev/files/pictures/swearing%20in.jpg

——-KPNOLA——

RELEASED 1 JULY 2013

This morning I wrote that solving our nation’s transportation challenges, “requires vision–men and women who can develop innovative solutions, and champions who…have the fortitude to see them through.” This afternoon, I want to share with you my thoughts about what it takes to be one of those champions.

I’m a lifelong Republican who served seven terms in Congress. When President Barack Obama called on me to serve in his historic administration, I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for truly bipartisan public service. Sure, we had our differences. But we shared a passion for public service — and that’s what mattered.

As I close the last chapter in my book of service, I’m taking stock of the Washington I see today. Sadly, I see a town that is increasingly distracted by political sideshows and name-calling, which are hurting its ability to effectively address our most pressing issues…

You can read more from Secretary LaHood on our

Fast Lane blog.

——-KPNOLA——

RELEASED 20 JUNE 2013

THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION
WASHINGTON,D.C. 20590

June 20, 2013

Dear Class of 20l3 Graduates,

Congratulations on a job well done! You’ve accomplished so much in your time at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and I’d like to reiterate how proud 1 am of your character, integrity.and leadetship.

As I said at your commencement ceremony, 1 fell a special connection to your class because you and I both came to Kings Point for the first time in 2009. Over the lasl 4 years, it’s clear that we ve come a long way together.

From Delano Hall to Mallory Pier, we are rebuilding and repairing the Academy’s facilities. We have secured a new training vessel with modern technology. And in just one year, Admiral Helis hns made. made other improvements, which you saw firsthand during your time at Kings Poinl. He has upgraded security on campus, enhanced diversity, instituted sound management practices.and strengthened accountability across the institution. He aJso is implementing a
strategic plan that puts the Academy on a path to long term success. Thanks to his strong leadership, the Academy is better positioned to train the next generation of maritime leaders.

On that note, I’d like to express my disappointment over the planes that interrupted your commencement ceremony. Monday was your day and should have been about your accomplishments, your success, and your leadership-period.

As graduates, all of you will play an enormous role in supportiog our Nation’s economy and national security on the waterways and open seas. In these efforts. you will always have the support of President Obama and the U.S.Department of Transportation. But we can’t do this alone. As alumni, you can work with us to ensure. that the Academy continues to be a model institution that educates midshipmen who are leaders of character and integrity well into the future.

Your commencement was the culmination of years of hard work. President Obama and I are both very proud of you for becoming the leaders you are today. And we can’t vail to see what you accomplish in your long and fulfilling careers . Good luck and Godspeed.

Sincerely yours

Ray LaHood
Secretary of Transportation

——KPNOLA—–

RELEASED 18 JUNE 2013

CLASS OF 2013 GRADUATION

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Class of 2013 began their time at Kings Point in the summer of 2009. Earlier that year, I began my time at the U.S. Department of Transportation. And although I have not traveled the world by sea as they have, in many ways we have journeyed together these past four years.

We all came to Kings Point for the first time in 2009. I was still a new secretary—getting to know the families and faculty that make the Academy strong. The men and women of the Class of 2013 were fresh plebe candidates—getting used to their military haircuts and embarking on their journey to leadership.

So it was a particularly great pleasure to attend yesterday’s Academy commencement, celebrate the achievements of these 201 fine men and women, and wish them well as they begin their careers as maritime leaders.

You can read more of Secretary LaHood’s take on the Class of 2013 and yesterday’s Kings Point commencement on the

Fast Lane blog

——-KPNOLA—–

RELEASED 12 JUNE 2013

“IN THE NEWS”

Quarterly Update from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy: June 2013

http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDOT/bulletins/7f115a?reqfrom=share

——KPNOLA——

RELEASED 4 JUNE 2013

The Department of Transportation is committed to providing every midshipman at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy the highest-quality education possible. And to help us achieve that goal, Deputy Secretary John Porcari and I visited the Kings Point, NY, campus last week to announce seven new members of the USMMA Advisory Board.

We’re counting on the new Advisory Board members to help Kings Point further its mission to educate and graduate the best-qualified merchant mariners.

You can read more about the USMMA Advisory Board on my

Fast Lane blog.

—–KPNOLA—–

RELEASED 31 MAY 2013

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION NAMES

USMMA ADVISORY BOARD 

http://www.dot.gov/briefing-room/us-transportation-secretary-lahood-names-us-merchant-marine-academy-advisory-board

——KPNOLA——

RELEASED 28 MAY 2013

This past weekend we celebrated Memorial Day, honoring the courage, sacrifice, and heroism of the many men and women of our Armed Services.

On Monday, Deputy Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen, along with other distinguished guests, participated in an event at the World War II Memorial commemorating these servicemen and their sacrifice.   

This year’s proceedings were especially unique because of a special ceremony where veteran merchant mariner James Van Splunder was finally awarded his service medals–68 years after his service…

You can read more about James Van Splunder and the service of his fellow merchant mariners on my

Fast Lane blog

——-KPNOLA——

RELEASED 22 MAY 2013

Today we celebrate Maritime Day, an annual opportunity to recognize the contributions of the maritime industry and the U.S. Merchant Marine.

The maritime industry and our merchant mariners have supported our nation’s economy and our national security for more than 235 years.

We at DOT commemorate the sacrifices of our merchant mariners and honor their achievements by continuing to carry America’s proud maritime legacy forward…

You can read more about National Maritime Day and the U.S. Merchant Marine on my

Fast Lane blog

———KPNOLA——

8 FEBRUARY 2013

If you arrive at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY, by water–as I did for my first visit in May 2009–Mallory Pier is likely to be the first part of campus you see up close. At 825 feet long, and serving as the primary dock facility for a United States service academy, it should be an impressive sight.

And soon, it will be.

On Wednesday, a construction crew from Russell Marine took the first step toward repairing and modernizing the 50-year-old pier by driving the first pile into the seabed of the Long Island Sound. Like many in the USMMA community, I am very happy to see this important work get started…

You can read more about the rehabilitation of Kings Point’s Mallory Pier on my

Fast Lane blog

—–KPNOLA—– 

30 JANUARY 2013

It’s no secret that I’m proud of the midshipmen and staff at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY, and I enthusiastically support the Academy’s efforts to train and prepare America’s next generation of merchant mariners.

I’m also eager to share good news about all that’s happening at Kings Point.

And on Monday, in front of the entire USMMA student body, Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari commissioned Rear Admiral Susan Dunlap into the United States Maritime Service in preparation for her new role as the Academy’s Deputy Superintendent…

You can read more about Deputy Superintendent RADM Susan Dunlap and Kings Point on my

Fast Lane blog

——-KPNOLA—–

29 JANUARY 2013

One of the best things about the four years that I have served in this office is the ability to share the achievements of DOT with readers of this blog. It’s no secret that I value the work we do here, and it has been a pleasure to demonstrate that twice daily on the Fast Lane…I want Fast Lane readers to be among the first to know that I will not serve a second term as Secretary of Transportation.

You can read more about DOT accomplishments over the past four years on my

Fast Lane blog

——KPNOLA—–

7 JANUARY 2013

I make no secret of how much I value DOT’s service academy, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY.  And many at DOT share my appreciation.

So you can understand our excitement at the opportunity to welcome the USMMA men’s and women’s basketball teams to Washington, DC, this past Saturday to  face their Landmark Conference rivals, Catholic University…

You can read more about the Kings Point hoopsters’ trip to DC on my

Fast Lane blog

————-KPNOLA———- 

AUGUST 2012

DOT Secretary’s update–Kings Point set for state-of-the-art training vessel, NASA’s Liberty Star

America’s merchant fleet is an essential part of our transportation system, a key player in our economy, and an important resource in our national defense. For more than seven decades, the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY, has trained young men and women for careers at sea in the service of our nation and instilled in them the discipline, skill, and character to become leaders in the maritime industry.

Since taking office, this Administration has made a comprehensive effort to renew the Academy’s facilities and teaching resources. Today, Kings Point has secured a new training vessel–the MV Liberty Star–that will help the Academy’s midshipmen take their preparation to the next level.

You can read more about the US Merchant Marine Academy’s new training vessel on my Fast Lane blog

————–KPNOLA————

JULY 2012

 New Superintendent takes the helm at U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

http://fastlane.dot.gov/2012/07/a-new-era-begins-at-us-merchant-marine-academy.html#more

———–KPNOLA———-

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