State University of New York Maritime College

State University of New York Maritime College
State University of New York Maritime College
Motto Loyalty, Valor
Established 1874
Type State University of New York (SUNY)
President Rear Admiral Wendi B. Carpenter, USN (ret.)
Students Civilian, Regiment of Cadets
Location Throggs Neck, New York, USA
Campus Urban
Colors Navy, Cardinal
Mascot Privateer

SUNY Maritime College is a maritime college located in the Bronx, New York City in historic Fort Schuyler on the Throggs Neck peninsula where the East River meets Long Island Sound. Founded in 1874, the SUNY Maritime College was the first college of its kind (federally approved, offering commercial nautical instruction) to be founded in the United States.



The school offers Bachelor of Engineering degrees in electrical, facilities, marine, and mechanical engineering; marine electrical and electronic systems; and naval architecture. All engineering degrees are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).[citation needed] It offers the Bachelor of Science degree in business administration/marine transportation, general business and commerce (with a humanities concentration), general engineering, international transportation and trade, marine environmental science (with a meteorology or oceanography concentration), and marine operations. All bachelor's degree programs may be combined with preparation for the professional license as a United States Merchant Marine Officer. The College also offers a master's degree in International Transportation Management, as well as several graduate certificate programs.

Most of the degree programs may be completed while concurrently preparing for the United States Merchant Marine officer's license as a third mate or third assistant engineer. Additionally, SUNY Maritime College has the only United States Navy/United States Marine Corps Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program in the metropolitan New York City area, which prepares enrollees for commissioned officer positions in the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps.


Maritime College is the oldest institution of its kind in the United States. In part, due to the Civil War there was a decline in the American maritime industry and a growing concern in the professionalism of its officers. As a result, the New York Chamber of Commerce and maritime interests of the port of New York, lobbied the state legislature to create a professional nautical school for the city. This was done in 1873, but the school lacked a ship. The chamber then teamed up with the noted naval education reformer and modernizer, Stephen B. Luce. Luce lead the charge and through his efforts, an act was passed by Congress in 1874 that enabled individual states to request from the Navy retired or obsolete vessels to train seamen. The state of New York then appealed to the Navy for a training vessel. On December 14, 1874, the USS St. Mary's arrived in New York harbor and became the home of the longest running nautical school in the United States. Originally administered by the Board of Education of the City of New York, it was conducted as a grammar school that taught common school subjects (along with nautical classes) during the winter term, and then held practical cruises during the summer term. As time advanced, the school began to teach more advanced professional subjects. During this early period, the school was typically run on an annual appropriation of $20,000 to $30,000 with the school often facing closure because the cost per pupil was much higher than in a regular public school mainly due to the overhead of ship maintenance and student board.

By 1907, the St. Mary's was replaced by the gunboat Newport, a sail-steam hybrid.

In 1913, New York City threatened to close the school due to its costs. However, the state of New York took over its management and renamed it the New York State Nautical School. Despite being under state guidance, the school was almost closed in 1916, again for budgetary reasons, but efforts from the maritime industry and the school's alumni kept it alive. After this time, the American merchant marine grew and subsequently a greater demand for trained American merchant marine brought growth to the school.

During this period, the school was administered by a Board of Governors in addition to the Superintendent. In 1921, the school, which had for long moved from berth to berth, found itself at Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor. There, they were allowed to use the army facilities. Over time, conditions on the island were deemed inadequate to teach modern merchant mariners.

With the growing demand, a push was made by then superintendent James Harvey Tomb beginning in 1927 to acquire a larger ship and a land-based institution. The ship came in the form of the Procyon which was renamed the Empire State. This ship effectively doubled the size of the school.

Finally, the school, renamed the New York Merchant Marine Academy, became land-based in 1934 at the Maritime College's present Throggs Neck campus in Fort Schuyler. One of Franklin D. Roosevelt's last acts as governor of New York State was to sign the act turning Fort Schuyler and the Throggs Neck peninsula over to the school for use as a shore-based facility of higher education. Work restoring Fort Schuyler for the academy's use was done at first by the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration (TERA) in 1934 followed by the Works Progress Administration in 1935. The fort was restored and allowed the school to operate there by 1938. In 1946, degree conferring status was granted and the academy became a college. The college was one of the original institutions incorporated into the State University of New York system in 1948.

Regiment of Cadets

The majority of the undergraduate student body at the Maritime College is organized into a Regiment of Cadets. The Regiment is a military-style organization similar in structure and operation to those of the US federal service academies, but military service for regimental students is not compulsory following graduation. The Regiment is led by cadet officers under the supervision of professional personnel of the Office of the Commandant of Cadets. It should be noted that participation in the Regiment is only required for students pursuing a USCG License as a Third Mate, or Third Assistant Engineer. "Civilian" students (those who do not participate in the Regiment) make up about 1/12 of the undergraduate population.

During the academic year, regimental students are obligated to fulfill duties above those necessary for their degrees, as a component of their training. Cadets are required to adhere to regimental rules and regulations, wear prescribed uniforms during business hours, stand watches as part of a duty rotation, and attend formation/muster each morning during the academic week, as well as a weekly uniform inspection on Friday afternoons. Prior to their freshman (fourth-class, or MUG - an acronym meaning "Midshipmen Under Guidance" or "Mariner Under Guidance") year, incoming students attend a two-week indoctrination period, similar to the United States Naval Academy's "plebe summer," which is designed to introduce them to the regimental lifestyle. During "Indoc," MUGs go to morning physical training, learn to march, engage in teamwork-building activities, and are immersed in the nautical terminology and lore of the College. The strict lifestyle for MUGs continues throughout the first year, after which they are permitted privileges (with corresponding responsibilities) pertinent to their increasing seniority within the regiment. First-class (fourth year) cadets, as the most senior members of the regiment, can assume leadership positions within the regiment and are expected to set the example for their subordinates. First-class are also permitted the most privileges, and accordingly are also obligated with the most important duties.

At Sea

The College's primary ship, Empire State VI, is a 565 foot (172.2 m) vessel driven by a 17,160 horsepower (13 MW) steam turbine engine. Originally built as the SS Oregon, a break bulk cargo freighter for States Lines, it was converted by the Maritime Administration and delivered to the College for use as a training ship in 1990. The Empire State VI is host to cadet watches, classes and work parties during the "Summer Sea Term", and departs each May with the college's cadets on board for "Summer Sea Term," a 90 day training voyage that is separated into two different legs. First-class cadets make the full 90 day trip, while the Second and Third-class cadets are divided between the 45 day legs, due to the fact that with a smaller crew, each cadet can get more one-on-one training than they would if all of the cadets were on board at once. This idea had been used in the college's past, and with the student population growing rapidly, was reinstated for the 2010 Summer Sea Term. Athens, Dublin, Barbados, Antwerp, Naples, Barcelona, Genoa, London, Tallinn, Istanbul, Dubrovnik, Split, Kiel, Valetta, and Copenhagen are some of the recent ports of call for the Empire State VI.

During the Summer Sea Term cadets are split into Deck and Engineering disciplines, which are further partitioned into three divisions each. These divisions form the basis of shipboard life during Summer Sea Term, and follow a rotating schedule of work, classes, and watch-standing. Cadets must complete three Sea Terms, each with progressively more responsibilities and higher expectations. On Third-class 'cruise,' the first of three, the cadets are given their first exposure to the rigors and requirements of shipboard life. They perform basic tasks and are trained in the most fundamental aspects of their respective disciplines. By the end of their First-class 'cruise,' the last they are required to complete, the cadets are expected to perform competently most of the routine duties of a Third Mate or Third Assistant Engineer on watch.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Empire State VI was mobilized on September 8, 2005, to provide berthing for up to 700 ConocoPhillips employees and National Guardsmen. The ship was readied for departure in record time, and remained in Belle Chasse, Louisiana for six months before returning to her berth at the college on March 8, 2006. The crew and the College were awarded a commendation for their service from the Maritime Administration.

The Empire State VI is the only registered troopship maintained as part of the US Navy's Ready Reserve Force, prefixed the T-AP 1001. The Empire State VI was also activated in 1994 to transport American soldiers home from Mogadishu, Somalia, the first time a troopship was used to transport soldiers since 1968 in Vietnam.

With twenty years of service to the Maritime College (as of 2010), the Empire State VI holds the record as the longest serving power driven training vessel the school has ever owned. She is expected to remain in operation until at least 2020.

The college also "operated" the former USNS Stalwart, which was delivered to SUNY in 2004. The vessel was inoperable since the engines did not work and the vessel was mostly gutted after its decommissioning as a Naval vessel. The vessel was eventually sold to a private company specializing in Arctic research and was towed away from the Maritime College pier early in 2011.

Notable alumni

Notable attendees


See also

  • United States Merchant Marine Academy
  • List of Presidents and Superintendents of the State University of New York Maritime College and Preceding Organizations
  • List of Training Ships of the State University of New York Maritime College and Preceding Organizations

External links


Coordinates: 40°48′19″N 73°47′33″W / 40.80528°N 73.7925°W / 40.80528; -73.7925

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