April 30, 2007
Doctorate for Clay Maitland
Admiral John W. Craine Jr., President of the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College, reports that the SUNY Board of Trustees has conferred upon Clay Maitland the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (LLD).
This distinction will be awarded at commencement exercises held at the Maritime College, located at Fort Schuyler in the Bronx, New York City, on Sunday, May 6, 2007
Mr. Maitland urges the world maritime community to increase its financial and moral support of seafarers' education and training.
"The qualified officers of tomorrow will come from the maritime academies of the world's seafaring nations," he says, adding that "at a time when we are seeing a great expansion in the number and complexity of merchant ships, with increasingly sophisticated technology, and a growing national and international regulatory burden, the recruitment, education and training of qualified seafarers must stay ahead of demand. Support for education and training must come from private industry, through a closer partnership with all of the stakeholders in our maritime community."
Maitland adds: "Ship registries, in particular, are now at the leading edge of maritime safety and environmental regulation and enforcement. We must have an adequate pool of talented personnel from which to recruit a well-trained multinational workforce, just as shipowners do. Since its founding in 1948, International Registries has had a close relationship with SUNY's Maritime College, and has employed several generations of its graduates. We are very proud of this association, which is flourishing now as never before."
Born in London, Clay Maitland received his college degree from Columbia University in New York City, and his legal education at New York Law School in 1968. After training at the law firm of Burlingham Underwood in New York, he joined International Registries, Inc. in 1976. At IRI, which manages the Marshall Islands registry, he is now a managing partner.
The Marshall Islands registry has grown to be the fourth largest vessel registry in the world
"Just like our global society, the world of shipping is getting flatter," says Maitland. "There are fewer big players, including the major ship registries. With the Marshall Islands now one of the top four registries of the world, we want to see other flags recognize and embrace the demand for qualified mariners. We are concerned about the sourcing of tomorrow's quality seafarers, and their ability to access educational and training resources at the world's leading maritime academies and training centers. It is vital that we act today for tomorrow."
In announcing the award, Admiral Craine cited Maitland's longtime and passionate commitment to the maritime industry, and to the well-being and education of seafarers, along with his support of SUNY Maritime College and its Maritime Industry Museum.
"Clay's long-time friendship with SUNY Maritime College is a direct result of the many relationships he has enjoyed with Maritime alumni," said the admiral. "SUNY Maritime College continues to thrive as a national leader in maritime education—in large part—because of the dedication of Clay Maitland."
In 2005, Maitland was the recipient of the Joe R. Gerson Seafarers' Humanitarian Award given by the North American Maritime Ministry Association (NAMMA) for his care for the humanitarian needs of seafarers, their professional development and recognition of their dignity and importance to the marine industry. In addition to serving as Convenor of NAMMA's Industry Advisory Board, Clay is also a trustee of the Seamens' Church Institute, a member of the executive committee of the Coast Guard Foundation, and a trustee of the American Merchant Marine Museum at King's Point. He is also a director of the Maritime Industry Museum at Fort Schuyler.
"Seafarers are the 'human face' of the shipping industry" notes Maitland. "They are the real assets transporting 95% of the world's goods, which happen to travel by sea."
In 2006, Maitland received the Admiral's Award for Outstanding Service to SUNY Maritime College, where it was also announced that he had established the Clay Maitland Endowed Scholarship in International Transportation Management. In 1999, he was inducted into the International Maritime Hall of Fame at a dinner held at the United Nations.
SUNY Maritime College is the oldest seafarers' training establishment in the United States, having come into existence as a result of federal legislation in the year 1874, hence its motto "First and Foremost".
The Maritime College began its history as the St. Mary's, a sail training ship moored in New York's East River. Today, the school has an enrollment of 1,300 students, a graduating class of 256, and a 100% career placement rate.