McDonald Confirmed as Mass. Maritime President

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 10, 2015

Francis X. McDonald, the 38th president of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Francis X. McDonald, the 38th president of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

A vote by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (BHE) has confirmed Francis X. McDonald has been selected as the 38th president of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.


McDonald, a 1985 graduate of the school, has worked on campus since 1994. Most recently, he served as Executive Vice President of the nation's oldest continuously operating maritime academy and has earned degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Northeastern University.

McDonald topped an impressive field of five that included Coast Guard Captain Melissa Bert, retired Coast Guard Captain Kurt Colella and retired Navy Admirals Michael Nowakowski and Ann Rondeau. He now has the unenviable task of filling big shoes left by Admiral Richard Gurnon, who retires this summer after 10 years as president and MMA service that dates all the way back to 1978. Gurnon is widely regarded as the individual who ushered in growth, stability, and helped build what is now (arguably) the most modern maritime campus in the country. He leaves McDonald and the school in very good shape.

McDonald's tenure begins in August. The Massachusetts Maritime Academy is one of the nation's six state-sponsored maritime academies whose missions include preparing students to operate merchant vessels of all types. The BHE vote took place on 9 June.


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