News From Fort Schuyler

May 15, 2001 - Volume 5, No. 18

WHAT A WEEK THAT WAS- On Mother's Day the Maritime College concluded a picture-perfect week of ceremonies, festivities and events with the First Annual New York City Borough Cup Challenge Regatta & Seaside Festival, a day featuring steady winds, clear skies, and comfortable temperatures. Typical New York weather, right ?

The previous day, Saturday, May 12th, there was another "first" - graduation was attended by a SUNY Chancellor. The Chancellor, ROBERT L. KING and several of his SUNY Systems Administration colleagues participated in the event. A highlight of graduation was the award of an Honorary Doctor of Letters to journalist and "Perfect Storm" author, SEBASTIAN JUNGER. The real highlights, however, were the 22 MS, 94 BS/BE, and 3 AA degree candidates who crossed the platform at this 145th commencement to receive diplomas, graduation awards, licenses, certificates and other important documents.

The Friday evening dinner benefit for the Sebastian Junger Scholarship for Maritime College students was preceded by a sold-out book signing/reception in Heritage Hall which supported the Friends of the Luce Library and the Perfect Storm Foundation. These events attracted many first-time visitors to Fort Schuyler.

On Thursday, May 10, Maritime's top seniors (and their proud parents) were recognized at the Annual Class Awards Dinner where some thirty-four awards were made to graduating cadets.

Finally, to start off this whole picture-perfect week, an extraordinary gathering of old and new Schuyler faces, including many NFFS readers, attended the retirement party for the editor on May 8. Not only was the turnout great, but the affection and good wishes expressed by the many speakers was nothing short of embarrassing. Your NFFS editor even managed (just) not to drop the wonderful retirement gift of a Weems and Plath clock/barometer set, specially mounted to serve as bookends. Just the setting for those sea books. To all who attended or sent their best wishes - a heartfelt thank you.

HAIL TO THE CHIEF - The EMPIRE STATE VI has a new Chief Engineer, ED KESSLER, Class of 1981. Ed steps up from his position as First Assistant Engineer on board the training ship.

RECOGNITION - News just in that CDR TOM DARCY, Class of 1979, has been awarded a prestigious Defense Meritorious Service Medal for his work from March 1996 to June 2000 as the Operations and Executive Officer of a Naval Reserve intelligence unit assigned to the U.S. Strategic Command in Omaha, NE. Tom is currently with the Strategic Command as a senior plans and policy analyst.

MARITIME FESTIVITIES SAN DIEGO STYLE - A last minute reminder about Maritime Day in San Diego comes from ED DANGLER, Class of 1949: "Since 1998, we have held an annual competition with KP, Maine, Cal and Mass maritime schools to see who can get the most attendees. We have always won, so let's not lose our winning record. If we can't beat KP in basketball, as least we can outdo them in lunch and cocktails." Recap: Friday - May 18 - Noon - Holiday Inn by the Bay - Tour of SS LANE VICTORY after lunch - Call 619-336-2220 or FAX 619-234-3083 ASAP.

OLD TRAINING SHIP WITH A NEW ROLE - In February, Andrew Kilk's "Letter from Oakland" column in "Sea Breezes: The Magazine of Ships and the Sea," reports on the renaming of the former California Maritime Academy Training Ship GOLDEN BEAR (ex-DELORLEANS, ex-CRESCENT CITY.) The ship is now the ARTSHIP and " to become a permanent fixture on the Oakland waterfront as a cultural centre with some new ideas and support systems for young people, artists and writers. The 61-year-old ARTSHIP is to be a floating art centre. There is to be a maritime museum on board."

MORE ON MONOMOYS - More details on the inaugural HAP PARNHAM Monomoy Race held on 20 April (see also NFFS 5:15, 5:17) have been provided by the Student Propeller Club:"...the regatta consisted of seven individual heats. Each heat consisted of two boats rowed by eight members of various student clubs guided by their respective faculty advisors who acted as coxswains.... The race was held at the Maritime waterfront below the recently refurbished student lounge and coffee shop at McMURRAY Hall. The race was a rough 100-yard loop around a marker buoy with a start/finish point alongside the school's newly acquired 48-foot buoy tender anchored in the center of the pier basin. After a good hour of hard rowing, interrupted by the occasional toss of a water balloon between competitors, the Eagle Scout Fraternity, under LTCDR YESKO, emerged as champions."

"A barbecue was held after the Parnham Cup was presented to the Eagle Scouts. The race provided a unique opportunity to use the waterfront and equipment for something other than everyday training. The success of the event was a promising sign for the perpetuation of a new Maritime tradition."

RINGING ENDORSEMENT - "I salute PETE BACI [Class of 1964] for having opted to have ST. MARY'S on his class ring," writes classmate MIKE QUINTO, (see NFFS 5:17.) "I wish I had the foresight to do the same, being a traditionalist. My recollection is that Josten's wanted at least two classes to vote for SAVANNAH on their ring in order to make it cost-effective. Since an ample majority of the Class of 1963 wanted SAVANNAH and since it STILL "flows down stream," our class joined in."

Another perspective on ST. MARY's vs. SAVANNAH comes from DICK BERNARDI, Class of 1965. "What we negotiated was that Josten's had the ST. MARY'S from the classes before and so only the date needed to be changed. They allowed us to choose between the ST MARY'S and the SAVANNAH. Most of the Deck cadets chose the ST. MARY's and most of the Engineering cadets chose the SAVANNAH. So the ring was really major dependent during the 1964 - 1965 years."