Development Newsletter March/April  2016

A message from your Texas A&M Galveston Development Office

Rick Kline, Senior Director of Development
GREETINGS FROM TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY AT GALVESTON!!!  I am so glad that you are taking the time to read our second edition of the TAMUG Development Newsletter.  We received some very nice feedback from recipients in response to our first version.  The intent of this newsletter is to share small snippets of the highlights of campus.  Hopefully, by reading about them, you'll feel more engaged and connected.  

Texas A&M University at Galveston plays an incredibly important role – not only to Galveston Island, but to the region, state and world.  It has recently been reported that Texas ranks third among all states for domestic maritime jobs.  Among cities, Houston ranks second of all U.S. cities for its contribution to the U.S. Maritime industry. Under the guidance of our world-class faculty, many of our students go on to work in the maritime industry and become major contributors (at work and at home) to our local, state, and national economy. Students here have unique and unlimited opportunities to study and conduct research in the areas of Maritime Administration, Maritime Systems Engineering, Maritime Transportation, Marine Biology, Marine Engineering Technology, Marine Sciences, and Liberal Studies.  In addition, TAMUG is home to the only Maritime Academy in the Gulf of Mexico.

In this month's newsletter, we decided to add a brief write-up on both a Former Student and a current donor.  This is a feature I'd like to see continue in future versions of the newsletter, as both are so important to our campus. Speaking of donors.....there are so many ways that individuals, corporations, and Foundations can directly impact Texas A&M University at Galveston.  Each and every day, we need support for our students, faculty, programs, and facilities.  Now more than ever, we rely on the generosity of our supporters.  With the January 2016 opening of the Texas A&M Maritime Academy Hall and the recently started construction of the brand new Academic Complex -- opportunities to name a building, lobby, classroom, laboratory, study space, or office suite are numerous.  Many choose to have facilities named in memory of a loved one or to ensure that their legacy or their company's legacy will always carry on at this fine institution.  Contact us if you'd like to discuss naming opportunities.   

Many times I meet individuals who tell me that they'd love to support something at TAMUG, but for some reason or another, the timing is just not right.  Through the Texas A&M Foundation, supporters can explore various ways to support our campus.  A wide range of Planned Gift options are available, allowing you to tailor your gift to your unique needs and interests.  Additional information about current and planned gifts can be found on the TAMUG website at:
Please feel free to contact our office at any time to discuss.

The Texas A&M University at Galveston Development Office always welcomes your visits, phone calls, or emails.  Visit our website ( to examine ways that you can support our current and future students.  Thank you for your continued support and Happy Spring!


Rick Kline
Senior Director of Development at Texas A&M University at Galveston
Texas A&M Foundation – LEAD BY EXAMPLE

Texas A&M Galveston teams with Shell Oil to enhance the maritime industry

Texas A&M University at Galveston hosted the Shell Leadership Weekend March 4th and 5th.  The event, funded through a grant from Shell Oil, brought together forty Texas A&M Galveston students majoring in Marine Transportation, Maritime Administration, Marine Engineering Technology or the Master's program in Maritime Administration and Logistics, for two days of meetings with professionals from the maritime industry.  

Representatives from Shell Trading Company, Tidewater Marine, U.S. Coast Guard, American Bureau of Shipping, Excelerate Energy, Ports America and Port of Houston Authority gave presentations, sat on panels and served as judges for the event.  The industry professionals spoke to the students throughout the event about decisive decision making, ethical leadership, networking and other valuable skills they will need as they move through their careers.

The weekend event started on Friday night with a dinner where students were split into five person teams and provided a real world case study that would challenge them over the next couple of days.  Each team was required to present their finding to a panel consisting of maritime faculty and industry professionals who scored the presentations.  The pairing of students seeking a Third Mate ship's officer license and those students seeking non-license careers allowed for each student to showcase what they have learned at Texas A&M Galveston.

The three highest scoring teams presented at the final dinner to be scored by all judges, with the winning team winning $2500 to be split among them.  The winning team consisted of Alyssa Adams, Marwan Afify, Kelsey Bishop, Michael Minello and Steven Seither.

Pictured from left to right:
Shell representives: Captain Tim Downs, Captain Tim Gaughan, Captain Darko Banaga and Jim Scalli.
Winning student team members: Marwan Afify, Michael Minello, Kelsey Bishop, Alyssa Adams, and Steven Seither.

"Each student on the team approached the case study from a differing perspective within the maritime industry allowing the students to learn from each other,” said Dr. Todd Sutherland, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs.  “The executives from Shell said they were extremely impressed with the depth of knowledge presented by the student teams, and the students were very appreciative of the opportunities to interact with each other and all of the people from industry.  The Shell Leadership weekend was an incredible success."

Hello Sea Aggie Former Students!

It is a new year and many new opportunities. After years of hard work, we have gotten a foundation set and ready to expand our horizons.  

Our most important task for 2016 is bringing in some new energy to the Sea Aggie Former Student Network.  Our past board of directors was able to get the organization established.  Now we need a new board that can put together a strategy for growing the organization and realizing its vision.  We are looking for Sea Aggies out there that are willing and able to put in some time and energy as board members, committee leaders and members to start organizing events and connecting with our friends from Texas A&M Galveston.  If you are excited about reunions, socials, scholarships, and mentoring programs, this is the year to join. You can read more about our board of director's nomination plans here.

As a constituent network of The Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University (AFS), we rely heavily on the staff at AFS to support our endeavors and maintain our contact records. Please go to to create an account and update your contact info if you have not done so already. We also encourage you to support the Aggie Network since they support ours! Please pass this on to every Aggie you know!

Please visit us at  to see what the organization is planning for this year. Stay tuned and be on the lookout for regular emails from the Sea Aggie Former Student Network. Gig 'em!

Sea Aggie Mentorship Network

The Sea Aggie Mentorship Network was established in 2015 to connect current and former students from Texas A&M University at Galveston with professionals across a range of industries. The group exists to provide Sea Aggies with an effective avenue in which to make professional connections and receive professional advisement and career advice. Although this is not an official organization of the university, this group seeks to improve the opportunities and prospects of current and former students of Texas A&M Galveston.

If you or another professional you know is interested in becoming a mentor or you are a current or former student looking for access to mentorship conversations and insights published by this group, please join the Sea Aggie Mentorship Network on LinkedIn or email the Maroon Delegates of Texas A&M University at Galveston at

The George P. Mitchell Society was developed to honor George Phydias Mitchell, who donated the Pelican Island land for the Galveston Campus of Texas A&M University as a tribute to his parents, Mike and Katrina Mitchell.

The George P. Mitchell Society is for individuals and businesses committed to the well-being of our oceans through maritime and marine research, education and training as conducted at Texas A&M University, Galveston Mitchell Campus.  It is a way to be actively involved in and to provide private support for the campus to thrive and grow as the only maritime university on the Gulf Coast and one of the premier ocean-front universities of the world.

This support boosts the entire university to beyond that which could be achieved with state and other traditional means of support alone.  For more information on membership into the George P. Mitchell Society, please visit

Maroon Delegates of Texas A&M University at Galveston

We would like to announce the emergence of a new Texas A&M Galveston Development Ambassador program here on campus: The Maroon Delegates of Texas A&M University at Galveston. The mission of this organization is to elevate awareness of Texas A&M University at Galveston and to cultivate relationships with former students and friends to this campus by interacting with them at university sponsored events and hosting them on campus visits.

The ambassador program will also strive to build a culture of philanthropy among students at the Texas A&M Galveston campus. The delegates will serve as stewards of this premiere marine-oriented campus and tell the story of our ocean campus from a student’s perspective in an effort to expand financial support of the university.

The 2015-2016 Maroon Delegates of Texas A&M Galveston Executive Team are: 

Abby Grant ‘17, Director of Financial Affairs; Justin Schwartz ‘16, President; Macy Elms ‘18, Delegate; Chuck Hardesty ‘16, Director of Internal Affairs;  Mae Hinson ‘17, Delegate; Bobby Macko ‘16, Vice President; Kylie Reinert ’18, Delegate; Josiah Coad ‘19, Delegate; Michelle Nguyen ‘18, Delegate.

Mardi Gras Parade Raises over $70k for Texas A&M University at Galveston

This year, just over $70,000 was raised for the George P. Mitchell Society of Texas A&M University at Galveston through ticket sales for the Second Annual Texas A&M Mardi Gras Parade Viewing Event. Guests were treated to custom A&M Mardi Gras beads, dinner, cocktails, live music by The Line Up and a premier view of the Momus Grand Night Parade. The parade viewing event was entirely underwritten by The Tremont House, A Wyndham Grand® Hotel.

Last year, the hotel transitioned its famous Mardi Gras Ball to a new era in memory of hotel owner and 1940 Texas A&M University graduate George P. Mitchell. Mitchell, who passed away on July 16, 2013, donated the land for Texas A&M University at Galveston’s main campus in his father’s name and has been recognized as the most generous donor in Texas A&M University history. In tribute to his close tie to the university, The Tremont House now underwrites the event so all proceeds can benefit the George P. Mitchell Society of Texas A&M University at Galveston. A Mardi Gras Ball and parade viewing party had been presented by George and Cynthia Mitchell and the Mitchell family since the opening of The Tremont House and revival of Mardi Gras in 1985.

As a result of the partnership with The Tremont House to host the A&M Parade Viewing Party, Texas A&M Galveston’s George P. Mitchell Society is now endowing two new scholarships. In addition, campus Excellence Initiatives may now come to fruition.

Honorary chairs for the event were Rear Admiral Robert Smith III, USN (Ret) and Mrs. Mary Sue Smith, Senator A.R. “Babe” Schwartz and Mrs. Marilyn Schwartz and the late Mrs. Kris Anne Vogelpohl, Member Emerita of the TAMUG Board of Visitors. Co-chairs for the event were Mrs. Marilyn McFatridge, Mrs. Phyllis Milstein, Mrs. Marie Robb and Ms. Kelly Teichman.

"We are proud to continue to support Texas A&M University at Galveston through this Mardi Gras event at The Tremont House,” says Complex General Manager Steve Cunningham. “Mr. Mitchell loved Texas A&M University and we are proud to underwrite this event for his prized alma mater."

Donor Spotlight: The Milan Family

History of the Earl Milan Vessel

Provided by Sheri Low (granddaughter of Earl Milan)

"My grandfather, Earl Milan, built the Fishen-n-Fiddlen (previous name of the Earl Milan) in the back of his shutter company, Aramco Outside Blinds,” said Sheri. “He built it using the same Aluminum product he used to make the shutters at Aramco.  My grandfather's brother was a welder who helped him a lot, and he and family and friends enjoyed building the yacht after hours.  After the vessel was complete, it was taken by an 18-wheeler down Broadway, which was then closed to traffic during the middle of the night, from Aramco to the Yacht Basin. This is where my grandparents, Earl & Gert Milan, lived on it for seven years before building a house on Tiki Island where he then parked the yacht in front of the house.  My grandfather repaid his family and friends by taking them on many three day fishing trips and coming back with prize fish for everyone to enjoy!  It was his life!  He was very proud of his vessel!"

Earl Milan Now…

Texas A&M University at Galveston received the generous donation of the Fishen-n-Fidlen from the Milan family in April 1994.  Dedicated and renamed in honor of Earl Milan, she has served the Texas A&M Galveston campus by conducting thousands of voyages in support of training future mariners, conducting academic/lab trips, and in support of university research efforts. She also serves as the backbone of the annual Sea Campus Kids summer camp.  In the Fall of 2014, Texas A&M University at Galveston’s Marine Education Support and Safety Operations made the decision that after 40 years of service, the vessel needed an mechanical refit and a facelift.

The vessel renovations initially started with the replacement of its engines to new emissions reduction engines through the assistance of a grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).  It was decided that since the vessel had seen such extensive service that a complete overhaul of the vessel was warranted.  The entire process involved removing the entire electrical system and engines and replacing them with modern fuel efficient and environmentally friendly engines. After 15 months of work, the vessel will be returning to be the workhorse of the Texas A&M Galveston fleet.  In conjunction with her newer fleet mate, the R/V Trident, these two vessels will be classrooms on the water, providing tangible learning experiences for students, sea campers, and the community for the next 40 years.

For more information, you can visit Texas A&M Univeristy at Galveston’s Vessel Operations at the following link:

Rolls Royce Marine North America – Galveston Facility Donates Tunnel Thruster Model to Texas A&M University at Galveston

Many years ago the relationship between Rolls Royce Marine North America and Texas A&M University at Galveston began as class field trips to the local Galveston facility.  Since then they have provided this campus with great support to include various internships. In February of 2013, Rolls Royce donated a TT1650H model/Tunnel Thruster to Texas A&M Galveston that was manufactured by Rolls Royce in Kristinehamn, Sweden and was a resident to one of the customer vessels for about six years before it was replaced with a new design thruster.  This particular model has experienced a great deal of the world from the U.S. and Gulf of Mexico to the coast of West and South Africa to. For an extended period of time there had not been a designated home for the mounted thruster. As of this month, you can find it permanently displayed in the Powell Marine Engineering Complex (PMEC) lobby.

On January 20, 2015, Rolls Royce representatives, Earl Johnson (senior service manager, Rolls Royce Marine North America) and Bill Shank (workshop project coordinator, Rolls Royce Marine North America) joined some of the engineering staff and students to dedicate and thank Rolls Royce for this wonderful example of craftsmanship and design and their continued support to the Texas A&M University at Galveston campus.

Pictured (L to R): Samuel Crenshaw, Henry W. “Buddy” Fredrickson, Earl M. Johnson, Eric Heidel, Benjamin Miner, Bill Shank, Dr. Edward “Ed” Clancy and Duncan Cooke.

"Where are they Now" Former Student Highlight: Jennifer Lee, ‘15

Jennifer "Jenny" Lee, '15 is a former Texas A&M University at Galveston graduate from San Antonio, Texas. She is a Maritime Administration graduate with a minor in Economics. During her days here at Texas A&M Galveston, she was heavily involved and served as S.A.L.T. Camp co-chair and she was the associate vice president for Academic Affairs with Student Government. Additionally, she was a peer educator and served as the vice president of Maritime Administration on the Texas A&M Propeller Club.

Jenny is currently employed as a junior supply officer with the Military Sealift Command in Norfolk, VA. She is becoming acquainted with all facets of the maritime industry aboard different classes of vessels before she transitions to a shore-based position. By gaining a solid understanding of the many directions of cargo and what life at sea in general is like, her leadership role ashore will be backed by a myriad of firsthand experience.

When we asked Jenny what brought her to Texas A&M University Galveston, she responded with... "I never expected to attend Texas A&M Galveston to begin with, but I am beyond grateful that I chose to commit to a school that is so rich in tradition and camaraderie. A long story short, I love horses beyond belief and initially planned on attending Texas A&M main campus for their wonderful veterinary program. However, after further contemplation, I decided I would rather own horses than work on them. In turn, I committed to a degree that would allow me to experience other adventures I am so dearly passionate about, and give me the future ability to own some of my own horses!

We wanted to know what Jenny enjoyed most about here time here at Texas A&M Galveston. Her response was one this campus can be proud of. She shared, "I enjoyed countless aspects of my time at Texas A&M Galveston. It truly has so much to offer when eyes are opened to its incredible promise. I absolutely loved the atmosphere that envelops the campus, and its small framework gladly welcomes quality. Meeting so many beautiful people is what ultimately did it for me. I thrived on the individuality and uniqueness that is present in such a small community"

In closing, we asked Jenny to share a bit of advice to current and future Texas A&M Galveston students. She replied with, "I have and always will be my biggest critic. The best advice I can give at this time is to become your biggest critic. Challenge yourself to greet doubt and adversity with open arms in order to fuel your passions. In life up to this point, I have encountered those who have fueled my determination. For some, I did it because of them; for others, I did it in spite of them. I have always told myself that if I meet my own expectations then I will never fall short of anyone else's. Set high expectations for yourself, and watch the magic happen."

New Leadership for the Houston Pilots Association

The Houston Pilots Association is a group of individuals known collectively as the Houston Pilots – Silent Servants of Progress on the Houston Ship Channel for the past 85 years.

The mission of the Houston Pilots sounds simple: Bring the ships in and take the ships out. However, theirs is a highly complex task – part art and part science – undertaken in the tricky waters of the largest landlocked port in America. The Houston Pilots skillfully perform their job 24/7, rain or shine, with a commitment to safety first. Given an expanding global economy, larger ships and worldwide threats of violence, the Houston Pilots’ role has become more essential now than ever.

Please join us in congratulating these Texas A&M University At Galveston former students, who on January 2016 became members of the Houston Pilots Association Leadership Team:

Capt. Sean P. Arbogast, '95Vice President
Capt. Robert M. Shearon, '82Presiding Officer
Capt. Matthew H. Glass, '03Member of Executive Committee

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