The following is the text of a news release from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS):
(CASTINE, Maine) — Christopher J. Wiernicki, chairman, president and CEO of ABS, addressed graduating students, their families and faculty members at Maine Maritime Academy's (MMA) commencement on May 2. The ceremony was held at 11 a.m. at MMA's Alexander Field House.
ABS is the leading provider of maritime classification services. MMA is a co-educational, public college on the Maine coast offering 18 degree programs in engineering, management, science and transportation.
"It is an honor to speak with the young people who represent the next generation of maritime leaders," Wiernicki told the 248 students who received academic degrees. "Their future roles and responsibilities are critical to the ABS mission to protect life, property and the natural environment."
MMA President Dr. William J. Brennan said, "ABS has invested so much toward the success of our students. We are honored that Chris Wiernicki provided the Class of 2015 with advice and guidance as our graduates launch their new lives and careers."
Brennan presented Wiernicki an honorary doctor of science degree to recognize his contributions to the global maritime industry. Wiernicki holds a bachelor of science in civil engineering from Vanderbilt University, a master of science in structural engineering from George Washington University and a master of science in ocean engineering from MIT. He is also a graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program and a member of the George Washington University Engineering Hall of Fame.
Prior to the commencement, Wiernicki, along with Maine Gov. Paul LePage, participated in the dedication ceremony for the ABS Center for Engineering, Science and Research, the first academic facility built on the MMA campus in 30 years. ABS contributed funding for the 30,000-square-foot building that provides state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories, classrooms, student study spaces, faculty offices and workrooms. Classes in the facility started in January 2015.
At the dedication, Wiernicki told assembled donors, community members, legislators and others, "ABS believes that investing in today's students is essential to building the next generation of industry leaders."