Ninety more join SUNY Maritime class of 2018

The following is text of a news release from the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College:

(THROGGS NECK, N.Y.) — In a ceremony in the Maritime Academic Center, 90 students were recognized for completing their studies to earn their college degrees and U.S. Coast Guard licenses. The students joined the ranks of the college’s class of 2018, the largest graduating class in the institution’s history.

Across three ceremonies in 2018, more than 500 students graduated from Maritime College. Traditionally, between 350 and 450 students graduate every year from the college, which enrolls approximately 1,750 students at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

“All of you are receiving a degree today and many of you will also receive your U.S. Coast Guard licenses. Both represent your commitment to academic excellence, to applied learning, to integrity, to leadership, and to respect,” said Rear Adm. Michael Alfultis, president of Maritime College. “I encourage all of you to remember these values as you begin your professional lives. Whether you plan to sail the seas and rivers, pursue careers on solid land, or serve in the armed forces, your character and your ethics will guide you through the next chapters of your lives.”

In addition to their degrees, most of the students recognized at the ceremony also received a U.S. Coast Guard license, which is required to work on board commercial vessels and is not affiliated with military service. To earn a license, students must participate in the college’s regiment of cadets, spend their summers sailing the world onboard the training ship Empire State VI, and pass a series of exams administered by the Coast Guard.

“One of the things that sets Maritime apart is the hands-on training,” said Rear Adm. Francis Pelkowski, class of 1984 and chairman of the Department of Global Transportation and Trade, who administered the Coast Guard oath to license graduates. “The Coast Guard license is an extremely demanding task and I am incredibly proud of you. I know all of the faculty, staff, parents and friends feel the same way.”

Two students were recognized for electing to serve on active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard: marine business and commerce major Linda Li, and Anthony Baker, who earned a degree in mechanical engineering.

By Professional Mariner Staff