News From Fort Schuyler

February 11, 2008 - Volume 8, No. 5

MARITIME ATHLETICS - If you want to keep up-to-date with Maritime College sports activities there is a very informative website link from the college homepage or you can go directly to All the sports are covered and there is extensive information about the teams, their coaches and the athletic program at Fort Schuyler. This is probably the second best section of the Maritime College website, after that of the Stephen B. Luce Library.

REUNION YEARS - 2008 is a big year for the Classes of 1998, 1983 and 1958, to name a few. NFFS will be glad to include announcements of plans for reunion events, etc. Members of the 50th reunion class have already indicated their interest. Anyone else?

WINTER GRADUATION - One indication of how the Maritime College is thriving can be seen by the size of the most recent Winter Graduation on Monday, January 28. According to Provost & VPAA, DR. JOSEPH C. HOFFMAN, Class of 1975, there were 75 participants, including 57 undergraduates. Foreign students came from all over the world; Bahamas, Burkina Faso, China, Cypress, India, Turkey, Panama and Peru. Most U.S. students came from New York, but there were also representatives from eight other states ranging from AL to PA. Women represented about 3% of the graduates this winter.

A SUNDAY AT ANNAPOLIS - The Washington Chapter of the Fort Schuyler Maritime Alumni Association has a brunch at the Officers Club at the US Naval Academy on Sunday, 24 February beginning at 10 AM. DR. JOSEPH C. HOFFMAN will be the featured speaker. Cost is $20 all inclusive, $10 for children. RSVP by 21 February to Dolores Mercier, Class of 1993 or call 202 372 1381.

HABITAT HOME FOR A HERO - JOE GUSTAFSON, Class of 1965, has shared information about a fundraiser that aims to build a Habitat for Humanity home in Central Florida for a disabled vet. "Sergeant Joshua Cope lost both legs and the use of his right hand while on his 2nd tour in Iraq. Two of his buddies were killed when an IED exploded under their Humvee. Joshua is currently at a Naval Hospital in San Diego, with his wife, Erica, and 2-year old daughter, Laney, undergoing therapy and fittings for his prosthesis." Joshua and his family will be visiting The Windermere Country Club on 26 February for the tournament. Joe writes: "I'm hoping that you can do something to help us raise the needed funds to provide the Cope family with a mortgage free home. Anything you can do, buy a raffle ticket for $200, make a donation ... would be greatly appreciated." For full information check or contact Joe at

CROSSING THE BAR - Reading the obituaries for 2007 in the Ebb Tide section of the Fort Schuyler Maritime Alumni Association website is informative. Domers often had multifaceted careers, did interesting and sometimes unlikely things. For example, several manufactured maple syrup in their later years. SANDY HAUENSTEIN, Class of 1939, who died at age 97, enjoyed harvesting maple syrup, along with bee keeping and travel. NEIL WRIGHT, Class of 1940, worked as a lumberjack for three years before entering the New York State Merchant Marine Academy in 1938. After serving in the Merchant Marine during WWII he swallowed the anchor. He was the owner of a number of businesses and active as a construction superintendent on major upstate NY atomic plant projects. In 1980 he took his maple syrup business full time, producing syrup from 5,000 taps. His obituary noted that "...he was a strong believer in good conservation practices and that pure maple syrup is a gourmet product..."

RICHARD NAGELHOUT, Class of 1956, played semi-professional baseball before entering Fort Schuyler. He retired from the Navy after 28 years and then worked for NATO for seven years, including four years as Deputy Director of the NATO SACLANT Undersea Research Centre in La Spezia, Italy. ROBERT McCORMACK, Class of 1952, became a stock broker after two years in the Navy and later became the owner of a boat yard. In his final years, "...he followed his passion which was bridge, being a master bridge player and teacher." ROBERT BEAMES, Class of 1955, worked at GE and was responsible for designing and producing this nation's first generation of CORONA satellites, reentry vehicles for the Apollo Space Program, and Voyager I, the first man-made object to leave our solar system.

CAPT. WALTER KILIAN, Class of 1957, served in the Navy for 30 years and was the naval aide to three New Hampshire governors before his death. ROBERT VAN POPERING, Class of 1950, was deep into sports after he retired in 1990 from a career in power plant design with the Bechtel Corporation. Sailing, hiking and biking filled his retirement years. "He was extremely active right up to his death and cycled nearly 100 miles in the last seven days of his life." Someone who waited a long time until finally retiring was CAPT. MERLE ALLEN, Class of 1938. In 1967, he founded the Marine Equipment Certification Corp from which he retired at the age of 84. Someone who had a great effect on the nation's shipping laws was PETER FINNERTY, Class of 1964, who "helped shape landmark shipping laws from the Shipping Act of 1984 and subsequent reforms to the Maritime Security Program and the changing role of the U.S. Merchant Marine." Look in the "Classes" section of the alumni website at

WEBCAM VIEWS - While there apparently are no webcams installed to allow us to view Fort Schuyler or the pier from afar (sounds like a great project for some student club) there are two webcams trained on the Throgs Neck Bridge toll plazas at (BTW - Kings Point seems to have 2 webcams operating - one at their waterfront, the other at Barney Square.)


Richard Corson - Forest Hills, NY

Latitude 40.716N Longitude 73.85W