Originally published in Castine Patriot, May 10, 2018
MMA graduates 266 in Class of 2018
by Monique Labbe
With hundreds of friends and family packed into the Maine Maritime Academy Field House, 266 graduates received their diplomas from President Bill Brennan during the academy’s commencement ceremony on May 5.
The theme of this year’s graduation was the idea of school pride long after the students’ time at the academy has ended.
“I want you to think about the friendships that you made and the experiences you’ve had,” said Brennan as he addressed the graduates. “Those continue on even after graduation. I know you’ll be Mariners forever.”
Brennan also talked about the tools the students have been given during their training and education at Maine Maritime. He said he is hopeful that as the students prepare for life after college, they take with them what they have learned, and added that he has learned from them as well.
“As you leave here today, I want you to know that you have contributed to my education as a president, and as a human being,” he said.
Commandant of Midshipmen Nathan Gandy addressed the regimental graduates and wished them luck on the next chapter of their lives.
“The class of 2019 has the watch, and you are relieved,” said Gandy as the graduates applauded and cheered.
Commencement speaker U.S. Maritime Administrator and retired Rear Admiral Mark Buzby urged the graduates to weigh their decisions heavily moving forward, as those decisions no longer affect just them, but everyone around them.
“Everything over the last four years has been decided for you, what classes to take, where you needed to be and what time to be there,” said Buzby. “That’s all over now. No longer are your decisions just about you. They have a much larger impact.”
Included in the graduating class were 13 students from the Blue Hill Peninsula and surrounding areas of Bucksport, Ellsworth and Verona Island.