Giving Spotlight - CAPT Martin "Bud" Conroy '75

CAPT Martin Conroy


Born and raised in Newton, Mass., Captain Martin “Bud” Conroy ’75 spent summers of his childhood on Cape Cod at his parents’ home. After working for Hy-Line Cruises during summers in high school, he made the decision to spend his life on the water. He had hoped to attend Massachusetts Maritime Academy, but he wore glasses, and at that time federal regulations would not allow him to follow his dream. Instead, Conroy decided to go to Boston College. Three years later, the regulations were loosened and he was able to attend MMA. Bud strongly believes that coming to MMA was “the best thing to happen [to him].”

After graduation, Bud was busy shipping out and did not stay as connected with the Academy as he would have liked. However, MMA was never far from his mind, and he made it back to participate in reunions as often as his shipping schedule would allow. He became actively involved in the Academy after connecting with Peter Lawrence ’63, who thought Bud would be a great addition to the MMA Foundation. In 2006, Bud became a member of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy Foundation Board.

Bud Conroy is a strong supporter of the MMA annual fund because he sincerely believes in the leadership skills that are taught and instilled in each MMA cadet. A seagoing captain for 30 years, Bud knows the importance of having well-trained crews, and he believes MMA produces some of the best seamen he has worked with. He gives to the Academy because he sees himself not only as “a product but also a customer of MMA,” given the number of MMA graduates he has shipped with and managed over the years. “Because it takes money to move forward and continue to excel,” he has a vested interest in ensuring that the MMA cadets who board his ships have the best education possible.

Several years ago, Bud chose to include MMA in his estate plans so that he can help to guarantee that the high-quality training and education MMA provides its cadets are available for generations to come. His gift for endowment will allow the Academy to use his bequest to support its greatest needs in the future. Recently, Bud began exploring the possibility of transferring his home in Vermont to the Academy while retaining the rights to live there for the rest of his life. This special gift arrangement is called a Retained Life Estate and allows Bud to take advantage of the tax benefits today while assisting MMA in fulfilling its recently launched $50 million campaign goal. A true win-win solution for a graduate and for the school.

To learn more about the 1891 Society and retained life estates, contact Advancement VP Holly Knight at

This article was originally published in the Winter 2017 Enterprise Magazine.