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Maine Maritime Academy Announces 2021 Commencement Plans

Mon Mar 22, 2021

CASTINE – Dr. William J. Brennan, President of Maine Maritime Academy, has announced that the college will hold an in-person, students-only graduation ceremony for the Class of 2021 on Thursday, April 8, 2021.  This year’s commencement speaker is Retired United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne.

“I am very pleased to be able to offer this traditional experience to the Class of 2021,” said President Brennan. “Despite having endured so much during this last year, there is also much to celebrate. Nothing could overshadow their accomplishments at MMA.”

The college is nearing the end of the spring academic semester and President Brennan credits their ability to maintain in-person instruction to a deep and enduring commitment to safety. In addition to masking and social distancing protocols, MMA has enacted a robust surveillance testing program for students, faculty, and staff.

Similarly, the campus has been closed to the public since last March. Despite recent changes announced by Governor Mills, that policy will not change. Only graduating students and a limited number of employees will attend the ceremony in person on April 8. However, the ceremony will be live-streamed on the college’s website and social media so friends and family can participate virtually.

“I wish I could see 1,000 people in our field house celebrating the wonderful accomplishments of their son, daughter, niece, spouse, family member, or friend, but we have to keep everyone in this community safe,” said President Brennan.

In addition to commencement activities, the college is planning for a busy summer training evolution, with five shipboard cruises aboard the T/S State of Maine and the schooner Bowdoin. Correspondingly, the fall semester calendar is being developed to accommodate the co-ops and sea requirements for those students seeking a license in the US Coast Guard.

“As an educational institution, we must do everything we can to make sure our students meet their academic requirements and graduate on time, despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic,” said Keith Williamson, MMA’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.  “We have worked hard to provide an educational experience that is as close to normal as possible given the impact of the pandemic,” he added.

The entire Academy community has been focused on ensuring the success of graduating students and on planning a celebration that honors their resilience and determination. “This is not what anyone expected the end of our career at MMA to look like,” said Hayden Sattler, President of the Class of 2021. “But we will make the most of it and we’re excited about having a chance to celebrate together!”

Additional details about the event will be released as they become available and will be shared on the college’s website and social media.