MMA Graduate Hugs President Bush

Wednesday, June 21, 2006
In a story reported by the NY Times, Gabriel Whitney says he did not plan to nearly suffocate President Bush in a bear hug. In fact, he did not plan to hug him at all. But when Mr. Whitney, one of 202 midshipmen to graduate from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., on Monday, stepped forward to receive his diploma, it just sort of happened. Call it irrational exuberance. But after six years of undergraduate school and 4,872 demerits, Mr. Whitney, 25, of Nashua, N.H., could hardly restrain himself. With more reason than most to be overjoyed, the 6-foot-7 midshipman stepped onto the stage to accept his degree and hugged Vice Adm. Joseph D. Stewart, the academy's superintendent. Then he raised both arms in a victorious salute as his classmates roared their approval. Elated and with his arms still upraised, he turned toward President Bush, who had just delivered the commencement address. Mr. Bush, wearing a quizzical expression, responded by raising his arms as well and moved in for a hug. The midshipman — almost unwittingly — found himself squeezing the president in his powerful arms. When the president caught his breath, he shook Mr. Whitney's hand. Mr. Whitney's sister, who works in an advertising office, had designed T-shirts for the 15 family members who attended the ceremony. Mr. Whitney's many difficulties in reaching graduation were emblazoned on the front of the shirt: 4,872 demerits ("painful"); four and a half years on academic restriction ("wounding"); two visits to the committee that weighs student expulsions ("agonizing"); two reprieves from the admiral ("necessary"); and six years of school with only an undergraduate degree to show for it ("humbling"). The back of the shirt, which bore a photograph of the midshipman and the American flag, celebrated his crowning achievement: "Passing all licensing exams, first try: Priceless." Source: NY Times
Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Education/Training

Young Endeavour Sets Sail on World Voyage

The Royal Australian Navy operated Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour set sail from Sydney today for a 12-month voyage, circumnavigating the globe. Parliamentary

Transas Upgrades Simulator Complex in Batumi

The presidents of Georgia and Latvia open the Batumi State Maritime Academy renovated training center powered by the Transas simulators On November 27, 2014, President

San Jacinto College Breaks Ground on New Training Center

San Jacinto College has broken ground along the Port of Houston for its new 45,000-square-foot Maritime Training Center.   At the site of 3700 Old Highway 146 in La Porte,

Coast Guard

S.O.S. Written on Hawaii Beach Prompts Rescue

A swimmer in distress was rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) helicopter after being swept out to sea near Hanakapiai Beach, Kauai, Friday.   A MH-65 Dolphin

Video: Crewman Medevaced from Oil Tanker

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) medevaced a Filipino crewmember from a tanker 23 miles south of Southwest Pass, Sunday.   Watchstanders with Coast Guard Sector New

USCG on Cuba Policy Changes

The U.S. Coast Guard missions and operations in the Southeast remain unchanged. The Coast Guard strongly discourages attempts to illegally enter the country by taking to the sea.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1572 sec (6 req/sec)