Texas Clipper II Honored In Galveston

Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Texas A&M University at Galveston was officially presented the "M" Award Friday from the U.S. Maritime Administration for outstanding performance and maintenance of the Texas Clipper II, the school's maritime vessel. Marking the first time in almost 60 years the award has been presented. Texas A&M at Galveston Vice President and CEO Michael Kemp accepted the award, noting that it is "a great testament to our officers and crew of the Texas Clipper II. I want to especially congratulate Rear Adm. Richard Lukens, who oversees our maritime program, and Capt. Jack Stephenson, master of the Texas Clipper II. Without their efforts, we probably would not have received this prestigious award." The "M" Award was presented to U.S. maritime ships before and during World War II when the maritime administration oversaw the world's greatest shipbuilding effort – more than 6,000 merchant vessel and naval auxiliaries were constructed for wartime use. The Award of Merit, better known as the "M" Award, was presented to ships in recognition of superior standing. The "M" Award was discontinued when the war ended, and the inaugural presentation of the honor was bestowed upon the Texas Clipper II on Friday. The ship will fly the "M" pennant, representing the award, for one year. The Texas Clipper II is a 394-ft. training ship that serves as Texas A&M-Galveston's "floating classroom." It is owned by the U.S. Maritime Administration, which oversees all operations and training programs of the vessel. The Texas Clipper II is one of six state maritime ships currently in the United States.

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