News From Fort Schuyler

January 18, 2010 - Volume 10, No. 1

HEADING FOR HAITI - SEAN McCARTHY '99 sent a brief note to friends on 16 January that he was "Loading medical supplies and heading for Haiti. We're supposed to be supporting the Hospital Ship COMFORT. Not sure if we will be anchored off the island or going into port. Everyone is running around the ship with clipboards and making phone calls: Cancel this - order that. Looking for volunteers to do this or that'. We are supposed to be pier side the next two months.' (JACK HAYES '47 forwarded Sean's note, writing: "Sean is a graduate who stayed at sea. He worked for me at the Fort when I was there for Hoss [College President FLOYD MILLER '53] and the Museum'.Now he's going to be in the midst of the Haitian disaster.") Sean expects to sail on Monday, 18 January.

SURVIVING ANOTHER DISASTER - A serendipitous note sent by TOM HALL '65 on 09 January contained the following extract from the Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, February 4, 1865: "Whereas an article appeared in the New York city papers of the 3d instant, alleging that 'on Thursday of last week (sic Jan. 26th) a transport filled with sick and wounded soldiers, discharged them at the wharf near Fort Schuyler; that they were taken from their berths on board, carried out upon the wharf and laid there in rows without beds or covering, exposed to all the bleakness of the January winds, from five o'clock in the evening till midnight; that ten of them died during this time, and of those that were removed, twenty-five died on account of the prostration by exposure by morning': Therefore, Resolved, That the Committee on Military Affairs be instructed in inquire into the facts of this charge, and report to this house as soon as possible." [The fragility of life has not changed much in 145 years, whether here or in Haiti, in cold weather or hot weather.]

PHOENIX RISING - The New York Chapter of the Propeller Club comes back to life this Wednesday. The Maritime College PR office forwarded a press release from Carleen Lyden-Kluss, which reads in part: "Please join us at 5:00 on January 20th at the Union League Club (38 E. 37th St.) for a meeting of the Propeller Club of the Port of New York and New Jersey. We are going to have a short meeting introducing the goals of the reborn chapter, followed by a presentation from Richard M. Larrabee, Director, Port Commerce Department, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, as well as Clint Eisenhauer of Maersk and Program Chairman of the Washington DC Chapter. This will be capped by a cocktail reception and the cost to attend is $45 for members and $75 for non-members. This letter is your personal invitation to become a member and join us for the event." [It might not be too late to sign up for an important meeting of a storied organization. Contact Carleen at]

BIG U MAY RETURN - A story in the 11 January edition of New York Times, titled 'A Push to Bring the S,S, UNITED STATES Back Home', reviews the proud history and current sad state of the ship as it rusts away in South Philadelphia. "Now, in a desperate attempt to avert its scrapping, a group calling itself the S.S. UNITED STATES Conservancy is suggesting that the ship could be a floating hotel and tourist attraction on the Hudson River waterfront." According to the article, the proposal, with an estimated cost of $100 million, has been pitched to the city's Economic Development Corporation and a local Community Board. The article notes that: "City officials have encouraged the group to pursue the venture but have yet to offer any financial support'"

ONE AND ONLY - A new 30-month Assistant Engineer license program being offered at SUNY Maritime College leads to an Associate Degree. According to the college website: "'Maritime is the only college in the United States to offer this program that upon completion, allows a student to receive a license as an Assistant Engineer (Limited-Oceans) of steam and/or motor vessels'..We believe that the program will be appealing to mariners currently working aboard vessels in an unlicensed capacity in the engine room, or in other areas of the maritime industry. Veterans are eligible to apply their benefits to his program as well,' noted CAPTAIN ERNEST J. FINK '75 'Chairman of the Professional Education & Training Department." [Read all the fine print at]

REAL DEAL - News that NOLAN GIMPEL '68 has put his house on the market appeared on the internet. Titled 'Logistics Co. Founder Lists in Scottsdale for $1.399M' the article in ShareThis says that Nolan is a partner at Mercator International LLC, an international consulting firm that specializes in the transportation industry. He previously managed the ports and maritime division of Transystems Inc and was senior vice president of SSA marine for 10 years. Prior to that he was CEO of the Port of Oakland. Earlier in his career he served in executive roles at Seatrain Lines and APL.

EBB TIDE - Friends, colleagues and former students were shocked to hear of the sudden death of AARON KRAMER '54, Engineering Professor Emeritus, on 12 January 2010, after a fall. He was 77 years old. According to Engineering Department Chairman, RICHARD BURKE '72: "Prof. Kramer had gone to the post office to mail packages to troops overseas as part of his work with the Veterans" [as Commander of the Fred Hecht Post #425 Jewish War Veterans] "It was there that he was overtaken and injured." Dr. Burke continues, "Professor Kramer was a vital member of the faculty during those years when the program was growing and transitioning into a professional, fully accredited academic engineering program. He was also a good friend and a wonderful colleague. He shall be missed." Born in the Bronx, Aaron went to college at Fort Schuyler and then taught engineering subjects there for 38 years. ROBERT BRANNIGAN 53, writes that: "The late, great Prof MEIR DEGANI praised Kramer as 'The best student I ever had' and strongly encouraged him to join the faculty." Aaron's profile in the International Society of Automation website describes him as "'teaching process and power instrumentation, control theory and application, nuclear engineering fundamentals and dynamics of systems" and as the author of many articles in the field of instrumentation and control systems ashore and at sea. ( Aaron was totally committed to the college. For example, in retirement he convened the luncheon get-togethers of Maritime retirees (Old-Friends-And-Retirees-Talking-Society) at City Island. Aaron was an avid sailor, golfer, musician, and local sports fan. He is survived by his wife, Iris, three daughters, and numerous grandchildren. Read the full obituary at or

On 10 January 2010, PATRICIA FOODY, died at the age of 95. Pat was the wife of the late JOHN FOODY, the long-time chairman of the Engineering Department. She was also the Principal Clerk of the SUNY Maritime College administrative office for many years. RICHARD BURKE '72, a former student in the Engineering Department, recalled that: "Mrs. Foody was a delightful conversationalist and a keen observer of College life during the 1945 - 1975 period and told great stories. She had a long and full life and we shall miss her." According to information provided by ROBERT BLACK, Executive Asst. to the President: "Condolences can be sent to Pat's niece, Leslie Hanrahan, at or (781) 789-8774" Funeral details were also contained in the obituary for Pat which appeared in the Watertown [NY] Daily Times: "A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Jan. 23 at noon at St. Gabriel Catholic Church, 731 North Ocean Boulevard, Pompano Beach. Monsignor James Parapally celebrant. Entombment will follow at the Queen of Heaven Mausoleum in North Lauderdale, Florida."

NEW DECADE, NEW VOLUME - NFFS began in 1997. Here we are 344 issues later still finding things of interest, we hope, for and about the Maritime College and its people.