After a few years of hard study, Cal Maritime’s class of 2022 weighed anchor on Saturday afternoon as the student body began to sail into the future.
One hundred seventy-seven cadets and 20 graduate students celebrated with an in-person debut at Bodnar Field.
“The Class of 2022 has already written its own history at Cal Maritime,” said Cal Maritime President Thomas A. Cropper. “They faced the impossible and created the possible in a global pandemic. These impressive graduates have come to this exact moment after meeting this moment and, struggle after struggle, have finally succeeded. Along the way, they have demonstrated dedication, honor, respect for integrity, responsibility and trust.
The event featured speeches not only from Cropper, but also from Olivia Munoz, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science, Oceanography. Munoz talked about a few years that included a pandemic, Zoom meetings, and the student body changing his idea of culture and what he wanted to be known moving forward.
Munoz also referred to a saying of his relative – “If you have two feet in two canoes at once, you will surely drown.”
“Just because something is part of our history doesn’t mean it has to be part of our future,” Munoz said. “Asking difficult questions often leads to awkward moments. Take what you have learned here and use it.
The keynote address was delivered by Maj. Gen. Barrye Price, who urged people to think like the late Brooklyn Dodger great Jackie Robinson.
Price is a decorated U.S. Army officer who has served around the world and was a leader in the fight against drugs. He is President and CEO of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, a nonprofit organization committed to building safe, healthy, and rewarding communities.
“Remember to hug Jackie and know that one life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives,” Price said. “I want you to give, give, give and give… Know that freedom is not really free and sometimes you will have to fight for it and invest in it. You will have to fight to make your voice heard.
The graduate student keynote was delivered by Alicia Bryant Winterbottom, who spoke about the challenges she faced while earning her graduate degree in science, transportation, and engineering management. Winterbottom’s voyage included caring for a pregnant toddler and writing an essay with that toddler in her lap while her husband, a merchant sailor, was at sea.
“Fourteen years ago, I was in your shoes and graduated in the Global Studies Class of 2008, long before there was a master’s program,” Winterbottom said. “I really feel like I’ve come full circle, being a cadet, working in industry, being a student working on my masters again, being a mentor to a student in the graduate school and now at this stage. To be honest, it’s surreal. You never know what to expect when you sit here at graduation and prepare to embark on your next adventure. But to quote my father, ‘The journey is everything, it’s not always about the destination. And it’s been quite a journey.
Commencement awards were also given, including the Highest Academic Achievement Awards at
- Caleb Marshall — BA Global Studies and Maritime Affairs
- Lillian Maier—BS, Business Administration
- Stephen Donoghue – BS, Facilities Engineering Technology
- Ian Nation — BS, Marine Engineering Technology
- Ian Douglas—BS, Shipping
- Andrew Oca – BS, Mechanical Engineering
- Seamus Jameson — BS, Oceanography
The California State University Maritime Academy Leadership Award was presented to Brandon Kolarov (BS, Business Administration).
The Training Vessel Golden Bear Captain Awards were presented to Jonathan Christensen (BS, Mechanical Engineering) and Hailey Thompson (BS, Marine Transportation).
The Excellence in Community Service Award was presented to Thanaphorn Supakit (BS, Business Administration).
Cooper Arnett (BS, shipping) won the athletics award.