May 20, 2016

Dear Maritime College Community,

There is so much that goes on at the college, and I hope this serves as a good way to keep you informed and connected to SUNY Maritime. I also look forward to hearing from you. 


Commencement took place May 6. This year, 230 students – the largest class in the history of our college – joined the ranks of alumni. For many, it is the most exciting day of the year, but for me, I am always sad to see so many students with whom I have become close move on to their next chapter. 

Before a large crowd of family and friends under tents in the pentagon, our commencement speaker, Christopher Wiernicki, president and CEO of the American Bureau of Shipping, gave advice to the graduates on how to be leaders. Many are already well on their way.  The college presented Wiernicki with an honorary doctor of science degree from the State University of New York.

Of 209 undergraduate degrees awarded, nearly 70 students graduated with marine transportation degrees and 85 earned a bachelor of engineering. Another 20 earned graduate degrees in international transportation management. Twenty-four members of the class received Naval commissions and were selected for surface warfare, submarines or naval aviator programs.

Many have accepted jobs, including with Military Sealift Command, Entergy, Knolls Atomic Power Lab and Dominion, among others.

Admiral’s Scholarship Dinner

Another important event welcomed more than 500 alumni and friends back to campus. On May 3, our annual Admiral’s Scholarship Dinner was held in Vander Clute Hall.

This year, we honored Tom Higgins, ’80, chief administrative officer of First Data, and a member of the College Council. A much-deserved special recognition was given to astronaut Scott Kelly, ’87, for his 11-month mission on the International Space Station.

As the primary source of raising funds for student scholarships, the event was one of our most successful ever. I am pleased to report that $745,000 was raised through tickets sales, sponsorships and an auction.

Our students continually impress me with their dedication to their studies and their future. They are the reason I look forward to coming to work every day. Their success is the focus of all of our efforts and endeavors across campus.

As they move beyond our campus to focus on their careers, I hope they stay connected with their alma mater. 

Summer is officially underway and we are busy preparing for next year. Cadets have embarked on the Empire State VI for summer sea term. Follow their journey here.

All the best,

Rear Adm. Michael Alfultis, USMS, Ph.D.


State University of New York, Maritime College