The announcement was made this week following the passage of a resolution presented to the SUNY Board of Trustees by SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher during the Boardâ€™s June meeting in Manhattan.
SUNY Maritime College is one of only six state maritime colleges and academies in the United States. The funds will be dispersed over the next five years and will be used to establish two named Academic Chairs and also name the largest lecture hall on the campus, located in the Marvin Tode Science and Engineering Hall. The two Chairs, the first ever named chairs at SUNY Maritime College, will be the ABS Chair in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering and the ABS Chair in Marine Transportation. The lecture hall will be named the ABS Lecture Hall.
â€œSUNY Maritime College is renowned for the quality of the individuals who graduate from its program, many of whom now hold prominent positions within the US and international shipping sectors,â€ said ABS Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert D. Somerville in announcing the gift. â€œABS is very pleased to be able to encourage this pursuit of academic excellence in the expectation that future SUNY graduates will be part of the next generation of innovators and leaders within the maritime industry.â€
SUNY Maritime College President Vice Admiral John W. Craine, Jr., USN (Ret.) expressed his thanks and appreciation, stating, â€œSUNY Maritime College is honored to receive this generous and important gift from ABS. The endowment of these named Chairs will bring a mark of distinction to SUNY Maritime College. We are most grateful to Mr. Somerville and his exceptional team at ABS, and to SUNY Maritime alumni Tom Hancock and Rich DeSimone for their help and guidance in pursuing this endowment.â€
â€œABSâ€™ generosity will provide SUNY Maritime with the opportunity to continue to attract and retain exceptionally talented faculty-scholars, and infuse an advanced level of academic rigor into SUNY Maritimeâ€™s existing engineering and marine transportation programs,â€ commented Maritime College Provost Dr. Joseph Hoffman.
â€œI applaud ABS for their strong support of SUNY Maritimeâ€™s mission, and for their commitment to education in the marine engineering sector,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “The establishment of two ABS Chairs, as well as the naming of the Collegeâ€™s lecture hall, will further enhance the State University of New Yorkâ€™s standing as an educational institution at the forefront of these vital industries. This is a shining example of a successful public-private partnership that will benefit the people of New York State in the months and years to come.â€
ABS has a longstanding commitment to education. This award to SUNY is part of a global maritime educational outreach program by the class society. This has included the funding of infrastructure, facilities and educational programs and research at universities and maritime academies in the US, the UK, Greece, Korea, China, Italy and other shipping centers.
Founded in 1862, ABS is a leading international classification society devoted to promoting the security of life, property and the marine environment through the development and verification of standards for the design, construction and operational maintenance of marine-related facilities.
The State University of New York Maritime College is an undergraduate and graduate institution focused on engineering, business, science and maritime transportation. Founded in 1874, SUNY Maritime College is the oldest and largest maritime school in the United States. The College is consistently recognized by U.S. News & World Report as having one of the top engineering programs in the nation, and as one of the top baccalaureate colleges in the North. The College is also recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the best colleges in the Northeast. Graduates hold leadership positions throughout the maritime industry, in business, law, government, and the military.