MMA's Distinguished Lecture Series welcomes Philanthropist Bill Cummings

Bill Cummings Author

Tomorrow (October 2, 2018) Massachusetts Maritime Academy will welcome Bill Cummings, billionaire philanthropist and founder of Cummings Properties, LLC and the Cummings Foundation in the latest session of their Distinguished Lecture Series. The local real estate magnate is also the author of “Starting Small and Making It Big: An Entrepreneur's Journey to Billion-Dollar Philanthropist" as well as being the first Massachusetts residents to join the Giving Pledge, a philanthropic organization founded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett which encourages the world’s most affluent people to donate at least half of their assets to charitable causes.

Mr. Cummings will address the Academy in Admiral's Hall at 1600 tomorrow – this lecture series is open to all cadets, faculty, staff, alumni and the local community. The intention is to have the lecturer share their industry experiences, knowledge, and viewpoints with the Academy community.

Highlights of the Distinguished Lecture Series last year were visits by Admiral William “Bud” Flanagan Jr., USN (Ret.) ’64, H’96, and Rear Admiral Dee Mewbourne, commander of the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command. Designed to expose cadets to the realities of life after MMA and provide real-world advice based on personal journeys, the series has been extremely well-received by the MMA community as an important informational and learning platform.

Our most recent lectures have focused on a topic that impacts the entire marine industry — the bottom line and the variables that affect the ever-changing global shipping markets. Industry leader Matthew McCleery, president of Marine Money International, which strives to bridge the gap between ship owners and the international capital markets, came to campus to address a gathering of International Maritime Business faculty and cadets.

McCleery gave a “road map” address focused on the nuanced subject of shipping finance as it is broken into its various components, and how all of the pieces fit together both at home and globally. He discussed the variables that go into factoring profits, margins, fuel, and cargo rates and the importance of the cost of money in the ever-changing global shipping markets. And while on the surface the many variables may seem daunting, McCleery explained that the concepts involved are similar to buying a home… there’s the financing and there’s the economics of the process of connecting the buyers (ship owners) and the capital markets.

On October 22nd, the Academy will welcome its next lecturer, Sam Norton, president, CEO, and director of Overseas Shipholding Group Inc.; future speakers will include Tracey Gunnlaugsson, who manages a worldwide chartered fleet of about 650 tankers and barges as president and CEO of ExxonMobil’s separately held subsidiary SeaRiver Maritime Inc.

For more information on the series, please contact MMA’s Director of Corporate & Alumni Relations Ian MacLeod at 508.830.5068 or