News From Fort Schuyler

January 28, 2008 - Volume 8, No. 3

RETIREMENT PLANS - GERHARDT MULLER, Class of 1965, retires from teaching at Kings Point at the end of this year, but plans to study the future of the maritime industry (ca. 2020 - 2030) at Columbia University's Center for Energy, Marine Transportation and Public Policy, and continue teaching at different maritime universities in Europe and the Far East. LOU GIATTINO, Class of 1953, reports that he began writing mysteries after he retired. His latest book, Prime Victim, was recently published by Publish America. And, of course, there is PHIL KANTZ, Class of 1965, who returned to sea after retiring from a very successful land-based career as a corporate CEO. Phil recounted the fascinating story of this return to his first career in an article published in the December/January, 2007 issue (#101) of Professional Mariner. If you have not read it yet, go to and click on the archives tab. The article, Call of the Sea Brings Retired Executive Back to Sea, concludes: "For me it has made retirement purposeful and exciting and an opportunity to return to my occupational roots. Over the years, I have often said that I would rather be on the bridge of a ship in the worst storm at sea than on the most beautiful golf course in the world on a warm sunny day. Now I just say, 'You bet I'm going back to sea!'" (Last week Phil headed back to sea for his twelfth voyage since returning to sea in 2003.)

WORK PLANS - Then there is LEN SUTTER, Class of 1953, who writes: "I'll be 78 in a couple of weeks, and still enjoy working in my field [as the] oldest lawyer in the Maritime Administration." He continues, " was my good fortune to attend The Fort. It made a man out of me, and the maritime field has given me a good living. At this point, life owes me nothing, and there are times I am overwhelmed with gratitude for what I have been given," For many years Len has been responsible for editing MARAD's annual Compilation of Maritime Laws, published by its Office of the Chief Counsel. Since 2004 Len has also published several volumes of memoirs about growing up on Staten Island, attending Fort Schuyler, and working in the maritime industry and Washington.

MEET ME UNDERNEATH THE PALM TREE - The Class of October 1946 has held mini reunions in the Florida area since 1992. This year they meet in Boca Raton Feb. 1-2 at the Embassy Suites Hotel. OTTO LIEPIN reports that: "We manage to have a location which is of interest, with a museum or two nearby and a formal dinner activity on Saturday evening. On Sunday mornings we usually have a meeting for the 'guys' and we discuss anything that would be of interest - usually pertaining to SUNY MC. Sometimes the meetings get a bit fired up, but that is great as it means that we do have an ongoing interest in our alma mater." Otto expects the following classmates to attend: FRANKLIN CLEMENT, JOHN QUINN, ADOLPH WALTERS, ALLAN LONSCHEIN, WILLIAM FEDORKA, JOHN O'DONNELL, EVERETT ROSENBLUM, ALVIN GOLDEN, ANTHONY SCOLARO, and maybe another one or two that I have overlooked. The ranks are thinning, but the spirit is still there."

DID YOU KNOW THAT? There are over 900 students in the Regiment of Cadets. Students from 15 other states can enroll at Maritime at New York State tuition rates. The reconstruction of the college pier is budgeted for $10 million. SUNY Maritime has the only Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps unit in the New York City metropolitan area. The Graduate Program in International Transportation Management offers all its core courses and seven elective courses online, so you can work on your masters degree at any place at any time.

FRED HESS FONDLY REMEMBERED (PART III) - A member of the Class of 1950 (Engine), GEORGE HILL, reminds us that Dr. Hess was an honorary member of his class, "...the only person so honored. He deserved it and will be missed by his 'classmates'." PAUL HOPSON, Class of 1970, remembers that Fred "....loved using BOOM(s) in his lectures. If he noticed in the springtime that folks were having trouble staying awake, he would just interject a short sentence into the lecture without changing the cadence or tone '...and so, if we take two hydrogen molecules and mix them with a molecule of oxygen we get BOOM!' This worked particularly well in those old classrooms in the Fort, the ones with the arched ceilings. The effect was as though he had 'boomed' right into your ear. Notebooks, pens, and feet would suddenly go flying. Sleeping heads would snap back to the vertical. Eyes wide open. And he would resume ...'Now I have your attention, you will notice that...'" LOU GIATTINO writes "I graduated in 1953. Like all the other engineers, I also studied Chemistry under Dr. Hess. It was probably my worst subject at the Fort. However, as a result of his teaching, during my working years I went on to develop a unique battery such that my colleagues thought I was a chemist! I am so grateful to him." CARL FISHER, Class of 1965, wrote in an earlier tribute "Now that I have retired, I am using my education in astronomy and celestial navigation from Dr. Hess and Capt. Parnham (Harold A. "HAP" Parnham, Class of 1948), to educate others about the way navigation was performed in the 'old days.' .... Many times, when talking about using the sun and stars to navigate, I think of Fred and Hap and how it all seemed so 'magical' when they explained it to us." Fred is remembered as a neighbor by HARRY KESSLER, Class of 1954. "...sometime during his tenure at the Fort, Fred and Eileen lived in quarters next to my Dad, Mom and brother. (The house my folks lived in has been replaced by a Throgs Neck Bridge abutment. What an eyesore that bridge is to the once pristine Fort Schuyler environment!) My dad worked in the Supply Department from the late 30's (with a stint of Navy service during the war) until he retired in the mid-60's. He made many cruises on EMPIRE STATE running the afloat Supply Department. [Fred and Eileen] has a full life together and had a wealth of many, and sometimes humorous stories. One they told us about concerned a lengthy visit to India. Eileen said that on return, the luggage had to be stowed in the far reaches of their basement because it had absorbed a pungent smell of India - dung!"


Richard Corson - Forest Hills, NY

Latitude 40.716N Longitude 73.85W