Rear Admiral Richard Gurnon, USMS, is the President of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. One of six state maritime academies in the country, Massachusetts Maritime Academy has been training business leaders, ship captains, engineers, and professional officers in the 19th, 20th, and now the 21st century. With over 1400 students and 250 employees, the college has an operating budget in excess of $46M. Offering seven undergraduate and two graduate majors, the Academy is one of two special mission public colleges in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
A 1970 graduate of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Gurnon flew the multi-engine P-3 Orion anti-submarine aircraft throughout the Atlantic and Mediterranean. He was a plane commander, mission commander and instructor pilot for Patrol Squadron 26 in Brunswick Maine and Patrol Squadron 92 in Weymouth, Massachusetts. He came to Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 1978 as a Company Officer (Assistant Director, Residence Life) and introduced a wide variety of leadership, discipline and personal development programs to improve the Regimental structure of the Academy. In 1981 he earned a Master's Degree from Bridgewater State College.
He was promoted to Assistant Commandant in 1981 and Commandant of Cadets in 1983. In l991 he assumed the duties of Dean of Students when the Academy began to admit commuting students to the program. In 1994, he was promoted to the position of Vice President of Students Services and was promoted to Executive Vice President in 2003. He assumed the role of President in June 2005 by a vote of the MMA Board of Trustees, with the military rank of Rear Admiral conferred by the U.S. Maritime Administrator.
Born in Everett, Massachusetts, President Gurnon resides in Buzzards Bay with his wife Linda. They have four children - Dan, a chemistry professor at DePauw University; Nick, a research chemist; Paul, a recent University of Massachusetts graduate and Katelyn, a Bourne High School student. The Gurnons have been foster parents with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families since 1990.