News From Fort Schuyler

April 12, 2010 - Volume 10, No. 7

READ ALL ABOUT IT - Last year SUNY Maritime College marked its 135th anniversary. JOSEPH WILLIAMS, Collection Development and Acquisitions Librarian at the college's Stephen B. Luce Library, writes about the school on pp. 20-21 in the April issue of Sidelights, the publication of The Council of American Master Mariners. Joe writes about the history and development of the school over the years, concluding that while there have been major changes since 1874, "'the heart of the school has remained fundamentally concerned with the training of merchant marine sailors and their safety."

HOME FOR A HERO - An update from JOE GUSTAFSON '65. "Please thank all Fort Schuyler alumni for their help in support of A Home For A Hero charity golf event to build a mortgage free home for Army Sergeant Joel Tavera. 150 golfers and many donors helped us raise over $75,000 net. Sergeant Tavera lost sight in both eyes, a leg, 4 fingers on his left hand, and was burned over 60% of his body, when his Humvee was hit with 5 rockets while serving in Iraq. Joel's father was supposed to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance, however, Joel insisted that he do it. Sgt. Tavera also refused to say the pledge while sitting in his wheel chair. There wasn't a dry eye in the room when he made some attendees lift him out of his wheelchair so he could stand at attention while leading us in the pledge. We estimate it will take between $350K - $400K to buy the land and build a home with the special needs Joel has. Anyone wanting to contribute can do so at

FROCKING GOOD NEWS - Among the recently announced selectees for promotion to Naval Reserve Captain are three members of the Class of 1987: PAT BRODERICK, CHARLES McCAMMON and HUGO POLANCO. Congratulations, gentlemen. ('and Google 'frocking' if you are curious)

FLOCKING GOOD NEWS - According to the college website, despite the horrendous economy and job market: "In 2009, over 100 companies from business, engineering, maritime, and government industries flocked to recruit our students on the SUNY Maritime Campus. The average starting salary for the undergraduate Class of 2009 was $62,600." (

THINGS WE MISSED - The Admiral Moore Regatta was held at Fort Schuyler on March 28th in chilly, blustery conditions. According to an article in Bronx Ink, SUNY Maritime "'hosts the Admiral Moore Regatta every year. College sailing teams, mostly from the Northeast, attend the spring event. Among the competitors were Connecticut College, St. Mary's of Maryland, Boston College and the University of Michigan'.SUNY Maritime ended seventh out of ten teams." (

There is an online version of Porthole. While most content seems to require a log in, you can get a flavor of student life by clicking on the ORGANIZATIONS tab to see what clubs and groups are represented at the college.

On March 9th the former Executive Officer of the NROTC Unit at SUNY Maritime College, CMDR. LIAM MURPHY, USNR (RET) was honored at the 25th Irish Heritage Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony held at Bronx Community College. This historian of things Irish and Vietnam veteran has been a columnist for the Irish Echo and editor of the National Hibernian Digest. He is also an honorary member of the fabled "Fighting 69th" Regiment of New York, which formed up at Fort Schuyler during the Civil War. Murphy is Deputy Director for Emergency Management in Westchester County. He also teaches Emergency Management at Fort Schuyler as an adjunct instructor.

EBB TIDE - The death of MARTIN B. BERNSTEIN '55 on March 29 2010 was announced in the NY Times. According to a 40th anniversary class profile published in 1995, after graduating from Fort Schuyler Marty went to Brooklyn Law School, earned his LLB, passed the bar and began practicing law in 1958. During his legal career he served as a private attorney, an Assistant Attorney General and as the corporate counsel for various banks and insurance companies. He was active in his community, serving on the Town of Hempstead Council and on the Board of Directors of the LI Power Authority. His entry in the class profile also noted that: "In 1980 Marty made his last move and became CEO, President and Director of Ponderosa Fibres'" The Times obituary noted that"'long before recycling became a household word, he founded Ponderosa Fibres of America, once the largest producer of recycled pulp in the world." Marty is survived by his wife, Deborah, three sons, two daughters and ten grandchildren. (New York Times, April 2, 2010 and

DONALD R. NIXON '56, a long-time nuclear engineer died on November 4 2009. He was 75. After graduation he sailed with American Export Line and served aboard the Sumner-Class destroyer, USS BUCK (DD-761). Don, who held numerous patents, retired from Westinghouse after 38 years as the Principal Engineer of their Naval Nuclear Department of the Electro-Mechanical Division at Cheswick, PA. He is survived by his wife, three children and six grandchildren. (

DAVID E. WALTERS, Sr. '45 died at the age of 84 on March 10, 2010. He was the father of DAVID E. WALTERS, Jr. '71, Past President of the Parent's Association, and a long time member of the Alumni Association. Before retiring to Florida in 1982, David lived on Long Island. After graduation he sailed for Mormac Marine as 3d Mate and then came ashore. "He spent most of his career employed with Nicholson and Galloway in Glen Head, NY, a roofing and restoration company, where he retired as Vice President before moving to the Ormond Beach area'" Active in retirement, Mr. Walters and his wife, Jean, volunteered at their church, helped the homeless and worked with the local hospital for many years. David Walters is survived by his wife, a daughter, two sons, 10 grandchildren, and 13 great-grand children. (

JOHN C. DOYLE '68 died on January 21 2010 after a three-year battle against a non-malignant brain tumor. He was only 63. John, a registered Professional Engineer, was a resident of Westbury. He shipped out after graduation, upgrading his license to 2nd Assistant Engineer before swallowing the anchor in 1972. During his seagoing days he sailed primarily with Seatrain Lines, including two runs to Vietnam. Coming ashore, he joined Stone & Webster Engineering Corp. working on petrochemical plants and then waste-energy plant projects "'before ending up at the NYC Metropolitan Transportation Authority '.He spent over 10 years at MTA and was a Principal Engineer providing technical support for the bus depots in NYC." John is survived by his wife, Joanne, two sons and two daughters. (Read more at the Alumni Association website