Dr. William J. Brennan, president of Maine Maritime Academy (MMA), announced that Captain Laurence “Larry” Wade, master of the college’s training ship, will retire in 2011. Brennan’s announcement came at the conclusion of the college’s 5th Annual Celebration of Achievement awards dinner held on the college campus. Wade and his wife, Deanna, were both present at the event.
In his announcement, Brennan praised Wade for his contributions to the college’s at-sea training program and his ongoing commitment to the furtherance of the college. He noted that since Wade’s appointment as the training ship’s top officer in 1996, he has logged more than 15 training cruises and has guided more than 3,000 student mariners safely throughout the world. He added that Wade will be greatly missed at the Castine college following his retirement, but anticipated his continued support of the college and its Alumni Association.
As part of the transition process, Wade will assist with planning and shoreside support of the annual spring training cruise, but will not sail with the vessel as master for this year’s voyage. He emphasized that his more than 50-year affiliation with the college will not end upon his retirement. He intends to strike a balance between increased time spent with family and active volunteerism at the college and in the community.
A 1964 graduate of Maine Maritime Academy, Wade sailed as a professional merchant mariner for more than 30 years, earning an unlimited master’s license in 1970. He later formed Wade Marine Services, Inc., a maritime consulting company that provided services to the shipping industry and to the Maritime Administration (MARAD). Through this work, he participated in the conversion of the current training ship, and eventually returned to the college in 1996 as captain of the vessel.
Wade participated in MARAD’s emergency activation of the college’s training ship in response to the disaster in New Orleans brought about by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. As part of that effort, the training ship and its crew provided emergency housing for relief workers, and served more than 35,000 meals to guests while in the area. During his leadership of the ship’s response, the training ship crew was recognized with the MARAD Meritorious Service award. The ship’s crew had previously received this award for their efforts in support of MARAD’s ship readiness initiative. The award had not been presented to civilian mariners since World War II.
Captain Wade has represented Maine Maritime Academy in leadership posts on numerous maritime training committees and advisory boards, and has been an active advocate for the college’s alumni through its Alumni Association. He served two terms as co-chair of the Ships Operation Cooperative Program, a private/public partnership sponsored by MARAD and formed in 1993 to share resources and technology to improve all aspects of ship operations for its members. He also served as treasurer of the MMA Alumni Association and continues to serve on various Association committees.
Wade is a lifelong member of the Boston Marine Society and the Portland Marine Society, as well as a 40-year member of the New England District of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.
Wade and his wife, Deanna, enjoy a very active family of four daughters, 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Both are active community volunteers and are long-time members of Kiwanis International. Captain Wade has served as president of the Orono-Old Town club, and as lieutenant governor of the New England District of Kiwanis Division 2. He also serves on the Board of the Page Farm and Home Museum, located at the University of Maine, and as Secretary/Treasurer of the Board of the Oncology Support Foundation, a part of Eastern Maine Healthcare Charities. He resides in Bradley, Maine.