News From Fort Schuyler

August 4, 2008 - Volume 8, No. 26

SUNY REACHES OUT - A contingent of 150 Chinese students who were attending colleges in the earthquake affected area in the Sichuan province, will be arriving at Fort Schuyler on August 15 as part of a special SUNY program announced by Governor Patterson on July 31. The program provides them with one year at a SUNY school. After a two day stay at the Maritime College they will disperse to 22 different SUNY campuses for two semesters. The May 12 earthquake in China killed nearly 70,000 people. According to the Schenectady Daily Gazette, a SUNY spokeswoman said: "It's my understanding that they were unable to return to their colleges or because of their home situations due to the earthquake damage." Funding for this program will come from private sources, not the SUNY budget. (

NEW STUDENT ARRIVAL DAY - Preceding the Chinese quake victims coming to the campus will be arrival of the Class of 2012. The mugs report to Fort Schuyler on 10 August. As the college website notes: "You are about to embark on a challenging Indoctrination program from 10 August to 23 August. During this period you will be restricted to the college grounds and will not be allowed visitors or home contact until the program is completed.......The Maritime College Regiment of cadets is unique. The combination of the military structure of the Regiment, the challenging academic programs, the professional development required for graduation, and the Merchant Marine license place demands on our cadets not found at other colleges." Indoctrination Graduation takes place at 10:00 Saturday 23 August on the athletic field. For a detailed schedule of the IDO period go to (One wonders what those Chinese students will make of their first experience of this country when they are confronted with all those mugs being put through their paces!)

METEOROLOGICAL MAVEN - This year's President of the American Meteorological Society is WALT DABBERDT '64. Walt, who went on to earn MS and PhD degrees in meteorology at the University of Wisconsin has been super active in the field, with 15 year stints at both the Stanford Research Institute and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. His research interests include observing systems, air quality, urban meteorology and more. Walt is also Chief Science Officer for Vaisala, a Finnish weather instrument company. According to online sources, Walt is also an accomplished amateur vintner, producing some 700 bottles of Bear Mountain Cellars wine with the help of family and colleagues. (

OCEANS GONE WARM - Associate Professor of Maritime Transportation, WALTER NADOLNY '78 recently spoke at a conference on global warming held at the Inuit town of Iqaluit in the Arctic. According to the college website, a " story, entitled 'Cruise ship traffic a threat to Arctic waters, U.S. expert warns,' appeared on the website on Friday, July 25."

REUNION HOW-TO - Homecoming 2008 features a special alumni-generated program entitled "Preserving our Heritage: Eight Bells and the End of the Watch - recent works using digital media." PHIL DILLOWAY ' Oct. 46 and FRANK NICKLES '58 will be there to share their expertise and experiences about the programs they and their classmates have recently produced. Featured will be excerpts from the History of the Class of 1958, Class of October 1946 Career Album and the Plaque Dedication for Maritime College Graduates at the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation. This forty-five minute event will take place in a classroom near the Luce Library on Saturday 27 September commencing at 0900. Phil writes: "From our audience we will determine what further interest there may be for a continuation during lunch or after the Pass in Review Parade. Our purpose is to enlighten Alumni as to what currently exists, to share our experiences and to encourage others to undertake similar efforts in preservation of this own class histories."

ONWARD AND UPWARD - The new President of John F. Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers, NY is REV. MARK G. VAILLANCOURT '81. Mark served as a nuclear engineer in the Navy from 1981-1987 and served in the Naval Reserve from 1993 to 2002. Ordained in 1994, he earned a doctorate in theology from Fordham University. In recent years he has taught at St. John's University and St. Joseph's Seminary and served a chaplain at a parochial high school in Staten Island. (For a profile go to ) According to the Maritime College website: "Rev. Vaillancourt took part in the May 3rd SUNY Maritime ROTC commissioning ceremony held at Grant's Tomb and gave the invocation." (


WILLIAM P. PENNEY April '44 died from Parkinson's disease on 6 June, 1944, almost exactly 64 years after he made his first voyage as a merchant mariner to the Normandy beachhead landing in France. By the age of 22 he had made his first trip as Captain. According to a notice at the Alumni Association website: "After the war he [worked] ashore for the Alcoa Steamship Company for 13 years and also spent 18 months in charge of dredging a river in Suriname....he [then] served as an officer in the United States Coast Guard for 20 years and retired as a Captain." (

ELLIOTT GOLDEN Oct. '46 died on July 25 at the age of 82. Judge Golden shipped out for Socony Vacuum as a 3rd Mate after graduating from Fort Schuyler. He came ashore to continue his education and received a law degree from Brooklyn Law School. According to the death notice in the New York Times: "A lifelong public servant, he started in the Brooklyn District Attorney's office ..[he was] elected as a Judge of the Civil Court in 1976 and then as a Justice of the Supreme Court in Kings County" [where he served until his retirement in 1999.] A former Eagle Scout, Golden was an active fund raiser for the organization and received their Silver Beaver Award. (See also his death notice at the college website


Richard Corson - Forest Hills, NY

Latitude 40.716N Longitude 73.85W