Maritime's Person of the Year

William Gallagher at Award Evening


On Monday April 1st at the Plaza Hotel in the city that never sleeps, Admiral Fran McDonald ‘85, proud graduate of Massachusetts Maritime Academy and president of what he insists is the best maritime university in the nation, extolled the virtues of the storied school while introducing 2019’s MMA Maritime Person of the Year, International Registries Inc. President, William Gallagher.

The Academy’s signature event serves as a spectacular way to link the true giants in the industries that the academy serves with tomorrow’s leaders – today’s cadets – in those very industries. It is also the largest and most important industry recognition event, while serving as the school’s largest fundraiser for cadet scholarships.  The Captain Emery Rice Medal is awarded in the name of one of the college’s most noteworthy alumni. An 1897 graduate, Rice commanded the US Mongolia during WWI which was credited with being the first steamship to sink a German submarine. During the Great War, Rice made over 40 voyages across the Atlantic in support of US troops and was twice recognized by Theodore Roosevelt as a shining example of American courage and fighting spirit.

A product of public schools himself, Gallagher’s belief in public education was the perfect match for the 128 year old academy’s values and mission set. In truth, Gallagher and MMA are more than a good match for one another. And, as proud as he was of being chosen for the honor, Gallagher characteristically pointed the spotlight onto others, telling MLPro, “As far as our real purpose tonight, Mass. Maritime is a wonderful institution offering a first rate maritime education within a state school system. I am a product of the Maryland Pennsylvania State school systems and am a firm believer of a public education, as that is the great equalizer in our society.”

The Medal was first awarded in 1995. On Monday night, six previous Emery Rice Medal recipients were in attendance. McDonald recognized each in turn, including the inaugural Emery Rice medal recipient, ADM William “Bud” Flanagan, Jr., USN (Ret.) '64.

Previous Emery Rice Recepients

The above was excerpted from a story by Joseph Keefe, 1980 (Deck) graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and lead commentator of  The full story blog can be found below.