June 2015 U.S. Merchant Marine Academy "In The News"

graphic of USDOT and USMMA seals
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

In the News

June 2015

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Message from the Superintendent

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.

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. 

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 Auto show

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."

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 Peter DeJesus

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.”

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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.

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 American Merchant Marine Museum

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.”

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 Joint Chiefs Chair at USMMA

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.

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U. S. Merchant Marine Academy, 300 Steamboat Road, Kings Point, New York, 11024
www.usmma.edu Office of External Affairs 516-726-6048