Massachusetts Maritime Academy Holds Commencement and Commissioning Exercises

Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA), a top-ranked public university with undergraduate degree programs focusing on science, engineering, technology, math, and business that blend academics and experiential learning, held its 181st Commencement Exercises on June 22, conferring some 300 undergraduate and 51 graduate degrees.

Leon J. Topalian, a member of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy Class of ’91, and Chair, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Nucor, the largest recycler and manufacturer of steel and steel products in North America, provided the keynote speech for the ceremony, weaving his alumnus perspective within three key points he shared with the graduates:  leading with gratitude, being resilient, and seizing the moment.

“Do not just sit back and watch others take the chances you wish you took,” extolled Topalian.  “I urge you to lead with gratitude, be resilient and adaptable, and seize every moment.  These are the keys this great institution has provided you…USE THEM.”

In addition to Topalian, honorary degrees were also bestowed on Evangelos M. Marinakis, founder and chairman of Capital Maritime Trading Corp., one of the leading shipowners in the maritime industry, an international businessman, investor and philanthropist, and State Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-First Bristol and Plymouth Counties).

“For me, the sea, shipping, the maritime industry, has never been just a job or a business opportunity.  It has been a passion.  And in life there is nothing like being able to follow your passion all the way,” stated Mr. Marinakis, who currently controls a fleet of 130 vessels.

State Senator Rodrigues, who is also chairperson of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Steering and Policy, and Senate Committee on Bills in the Third Reading, shared his background as the first in his family to earn a college degree.  “I stand before you as living proof of the commitment that our state makes towards public education.

“Massachusetts Maritime Academy is undoubtedly the jewel in our higher public education system – I cannot think of another institution that better prepares their students for the many tough challenges ahead in a 21st century economy,” he continued.

A number of members of the graduating class of 2024 were commissioned prior to the June 22nd  Commencement Exercises.  Four cadets accepted commissions into the United States Navy on active duty, with another eight accepting United States Navy Reserve commissions.  Additionally, four cadets accepted commissions to the Massachusetts National Guard, one to the Vermont National Guard, and one to the United States Coast Guard.

“The commencement and commissioning exercises fill me with such joy, as they represent the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and commitment by our graduates to our institution, and – just as importantly – to themselves,” said Rear Admiral Francis X. McDonald, USMS, president of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. “We wish them nothing but the best, and know that they go forward prepared to meet any challenge with the resources they’ve developed from their classes, their fellow cadets, and their strong alumni community who will support them in all their days ahead.”

About Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA): MMA is a fully accredited, four-year, co-educational state university offering Bachelor and Master of Science degrees that are highly regarded in the worldwide maritime industry and beyond. For more than 100 years, MMA has prepared women and men for exciting and rewarding careers on land and sea. As the nation’s finest co-ed maritime college, MMA challenges students to succeed by balancing a unique regimented lifestyle with a typical four-year college environment. Located on Cape Cod, at the mouth of the scenic Cape Cod Canal, Massachusetts Maritime Academy is the ideal college to pursue the love for the ocean, concern for the environment, interest in math and science, and a thirst for adventure. Follow MMA on FB:  @massmaritime, @MassMaritime.Advancement; IG: @massmaritime, @mmacademyalumni; Twitter: @MMAadmissions, @MMAcademyAlumni; YouTube: Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

About Capital Maritime & Trading Corp.: Capital Maritime is a global shipping company specializing in the maritime transportation of various types of cargo, including LNG, crude oil, refined oil products, edible oils, dry cargo, containerized goods, liquid CO2, and ammonia. Capital Maritime is part of Capital Group, a diversified shipping establishment, which operates a fleet of 130 vessels with a total carrying capacity of about 13 million DWT, 4 million CBM of LNG capacity and 167,216 TEU. The fleet under management includes the vessels of Nasdaq-listed Capital Product Partners L.P. (Nasdaq: CPLP). Capital Maritime’s vessels are designed and equipped to the highest standards, comprising net zero innovative and pioneering technologies, meeting all current regulatory standards. Capital Maritime boasts a vast network of relationships with major oil companies, traders, shipping lines, and other key charterers, backed by a long and successful track record.

About Nucor Corporation: Nucor Corporation is North America’s largest recycler, steel and steel products company. Nucor and its affiliates operate 27 scrap-based steel mills and more than 300 total locations, annually processing more than 20 million tons of ferrous scrap to produce new steel and steel products that are 100% recyclable at the end of their useful life. Committed to shaping the industry’s future, Nucor continues to invest in breakthrough technologies aimed at lowering emissions throughout the supply chain, not only enhancing the sustainability of steel production but also empowering partners to achieve their own carbon reduction goals. Recently, Nucor announced Net-Zero science-based greenhouse gas (GHG) targets for 2050, reinforcing its commitment to environmental responsibility.