SUNY Maritime Admiral’s Scholarship Dinner

Monday, April 06, 2009

On Tuesday, May 5th, at 6:00 pm, the State University of New York Maritime College will salute the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Kirby Inland Marine and Professor Emeritus William Sembler, ’52 at the College’s annual Admiral’s Scholarship Dinner.  The event will be held on the college’s waterfront campus in Throgs Neck, New York.   ESPN Sailing Analyst and former America’s Cup sailor Gary Jobson will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the event.

ABS is an international classification society devoted to promoting the security of life, property and the marine environment through the development and verification of standards for the design, construction and operational maintenance of marine-related facilities.  ABS Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)  Robert D. Somerville will accept Maritime College’s award at the May 5 dinner.  ABS is headquartered in Houston, TX, with New York area offices in Paramus, New Jersey.

Somerville has devoted his professional life to the marine industry and has spent more than 35 years with ABS in senior positions.   He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering from Maine Maritime Academy and completed Harvard Business School’s program for Management Development.

Somerville serves on the Boards of ABS, the ABS Group of Companies and the Maine Maritime Alumni Association Board of Directors.  He is also a Trustee of the Seamen’s Church Institute.  Somerville is a strong advocate of maritime safety and has served as Chairman of the International Association of Classification Societies, encouraging technical innovation and orchestrating the adoption of improved, engineering based standards for the design, construction and in-service maintenance of more robust, less environmentally invasive commercial vessels.   He has championed many of the most fundamental change in the nature of ship classification since its inception including the enactment of the IACS Common Structural Rules for tankers and bulk carriers in 2006.

Kirby Corporation, based in Houston, TX, is an inland tank barge operator in the United States, transporting bulk liquid products throughout the Mississippi River System and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Kirby's service includes the transporting of petrochemicals, pressurized products, black oil products, refined petroleum products and agricultural chemical products by inland tank barge. Kirby also owns and operates four ocean-going barge and tug units transporting dry-bulk commodities in United States coastwise trade.

Through the Kirby Engine Systems segment, Kirby overhauls and services medium-speed and high-speed diesel engines and reduction gears, and sells diesel engine parts through its subsidiary Kirby Engine Systems. Kirby Engine Systems provides these services to distinct segments of the market through its three subsidiaries, Marine Systems, Inc., Engine Systems, Inc. and Rail Systems, Inc. The diesel engines are used in marine, power generation and railroad applications.

The 2009 Maritime College Admiral’s Scholarship Dinner will begin with a cocktail hour under a tent on the quad at Vander Clute Hall, with views of Long Island Sound and the Throgs Neck Bridge.  Dinner will follow in Vander Clute Hall.

Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Maritime College Scholarship Fund for students studying for undergraduate degrees.  As one of only six state maritime colleges in the U.S., Maritime College is a vital educational force in training and preparing thousands of young people for leadership careers in the maritime industry.

Maritime College has a 100% placement rate for graduating seniors.  Members of the graduating class of 2008 entered the work force with medians starting salaries of $61,000. 

Tickets for the 2009 Admiral’s Scholarship Dinner to benefit the State University of New York Maritime College Scholarship Fund are available by calling 718-409-5562, or by emailing:  Tickets are $300 per person.  Attire for the event is business dress. Tables of 10 are available beginning at $3,000 per table.  Sponsorship and underwriting opportunities are also available for the event as well as for the journal.


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