Graduation is a major milestone in a student’s life.
While some were turning their tassels as the Maine Maritime Academy’s Class of 2017, others applauded remembering their big day 74 years ago.
William Brennan and Richard Spear were members of Maine Maritime Academy’s first graduating class of 1943.
Spear says, “You wouldn’t believe the changes that’s been made. It was just 3 buildings here when we were here. Look at all the places now. We graduated in 16 months, now they have a 4 year course. We had to learn on the job. And they arranged for us to get out because WWII was going on then.”
Many student and alumni say they are proud to be a Mariner and that the school has a way of hooking you.
Elizabeth Boucher, a graduating Graduate Student says, “It’s a small interesting kind of niche community. And a lot of people don’t realize it’s up here because you know Castine’s a little bit out of the way. But, I think the people that are connected to this school have very strong connections with it.”
The school has certainly stuck with Brennan and Spear.
Brennan’s son is now the current President of Maine Maritime Academy.
And students say Spear is a special mentor.
Parker Spear says, “He’s an example of what it is to be a Mariner and what it is to be a Maine Mariner and that is something completely different.”
Students, now alumni, say it was an exciting day but they will certainly miss their time at the Academy.
Parker Spear says, “It is a small community but we go all over the world and the school just takes you places. It was a very fast four years and I can’t believe I was jumping off the ship just four years ago.”
And as these graduates head out into the world, Brennan and Spear have a few words of advice.
Brenna says, “Just move forward and never look back. Cause it’s all ahead of you and not behind you.