Vice Admiral John R. Ryan assumed the presidency of the State University of New York Maritime
College during a ceremony held aboard Empire State VI while it was docked in Dublin, Ireland. Formerly the Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, Vice Admiral Ryan is the College's 32nd president since its founding in 1874.
The ceremony was attended by 600 Maritime Cadets aboard the ship as well as business and government leaders from Ireland. Vice Admiral Ryan flew to Dublin to greet the cadets and the Empire State VI as it sailed into port from its annual Summer Sea Term. Vice Admiral Ryan assumed command of the ship and Maritime College, relieving interim president Vice Admiral John Craine, USN.
"Serving as president of this historic and unique educational institution is a terrific opportunity," said Vice Admiral Ryan. "It is an honor and privilege to be entrusted with the responsibility of leading Maritime College, and I look forward to working with
the students, faculty, administration, alumni, parents and the State University of New York to continue its rich tradition of excellence in helping individuals build successful careers."
Vice Admiral Ryan is known throughout the naval ranks for his organizational management acumen and ability to coordinate and galvanize large groups of individuals. As Superintendent of the Naval Academy, no task was too large or small for Vice Admiral Ryan. He successfully organized and launched a $175-million fund-raising campaign that was over $105 million in only two years of operation. He also focused on projects such as enhancing the Academy's military system and renovating and modernizing classrooms, laboratories and student housing that improved the quality of campus life.
"This is a great day in the history of Maritime College and the SUNY system," said State University of New York's Chancellor Robert King. "Vice Admiral Ryan's decision to continue his career with SUNY Maritime is a great complement to the State University and all of New York and his leadership will ensure Maritime's excellence in higher education will continue to grow in stature. I am very pleased that our students will be led by such an accomplished Naval Officer."
Prior to serving as the 56th Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy, Vice Admiral Ryan was the Commander of the Maritime Surveillance and Reconnaissance Force, U.S. Sixth Fleet/Commander, Fleet Air Mediterranean/Commander, Maritime Air Forces located in Naples, Italy.
Before earning flag rank, Vice Admiral Ryan commanded Patrol Squadron Eleven, Patrol Squadron Thirty-One, and Patrol Wing Ten. Previous shore assignments included the Strategic Concepts Group in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Military Assistant to the Executive Secretary in the immediate office of the Secretary of Defense, Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air Warfare), and Executive Assistant to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
In March 1991, he was promoted to Rear Admiral and served as the Director, Logistics and Security Assistance for the Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command. His rapid ascendancy continued when he assumed duties as Commander, Patrol Wings, U.S. Pacific Fleet/Commander, Anti-Submarine Warfare Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet in August 1993.
Vice Admiral Ryan graduated from the Naval Academy in June 1967. After designation as a naval aviator, his initial assignment was to Patrol Squadron Eight. From 1972-75, he was assigned to the Candidate Guidance Office at the Naval Academy. He then served two years on the USS Nimitz
as Assistant Navigator followed by a department head tour in Patrol Squadron Twenty-Six.
While fulfilling those assignments, Vice Admiral Ryan attended George Washington University, Washington, D.C., where he earned a Master of Science degree in Administration in 1975. He has also completed the program for Senior Executives in National and International Security at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Vice Admiral Ryan's decorations include the distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster), Legion of Merit (with two gold stars), Meritorious Service Medal (with two gold stars), Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (with two gold stars) and other service awards
. A native of Mountainhome, Pa., Vice Admiral Ryan and his wife, Diane, have three daughters: Tricia, Kelly and Julie. Maritime College faculty
, administration, alumni and friends and SUNY officials were joined by state and local officials and maritime industry leaders at a reception held July 18 at Maritime College to officially welcome Vice Admiral Ryan. As part of the day's ceremonies, Vice Admiral Ryan welcomed back the College's cadets from their eight-week, summer term at sea and joined Assemblyman Steve Kaufman and John D'Agati, special aide to Senator Kenneth LaValle, to introduce the Cadet Appointment Scholarship Program.
Conducted aboard Empire State VI, Maritime's 17,000-ton training ship, the summer sea term prepares cadets for the duties and responsibilities of licensed marine officers. Through this hands-on training experience, cadets acquire the nautical skills and acumen necessary for licensure from the unlicensed rating level through the officer's level.
The Cadet Appointment Scholarship Program is a state-funded tuition scholarship program for students at the college who are residents of New York. Effective the 2003-04 academic year, it will award 284 tuition scholarships. To be eligible, students must be nominated by a local elected state legislator and meet Maritime's general admissions requirements. Nominations are limited to five each for the Governor, Majority Leader of the Senate and Speaker of the Assembly, two for each member of the Senate and one for each member of the assembly.