One-hundred, seventy-seven cadets and 20 graduate students celebrated with an in-person commencement at Bodnar Field.
“The Class of 2022 has already made its own history at Cal Maritime,” Cal Maritime President Thomas A. Cropper said. “They confronted the impossible and created the possible in a global pandemic. These awesome graduates arrived at this very moment having met that moment and during struggle after struggle ultimately succeed. Along the way they demonstrated dedication, honor, integrity respect, responsibility and trust.”
The event featured speeches from not only Cropper, but Olivia Munoz, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in science, oceanography. Munoz spoke about a few years that included a pandemic, Zoom meetings and the student body changing its idea of culture and what it wanted to be known for moving forward.
Munoz also brought up a saying by her relative — “If you have two feet in two canoes at one time, you will surely drown.”
“Just because something is part of our history, doesn’t mean it has to be part of our future,” Munoz said. “Asking tough questions often brings up awkward moments. Take what you learned here and use it.”
The commencement address was made by Major General Barrye Price, who urged people to think like the late great Brooklyn Dodger, Jackie Robinson.
Price is a decorated officer of the US Army who has served around the world and has been a leader in the anti-drug effort. He is president and CEO of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America — a nonprofit organization that is committed to creating safe, healthy, and drug fee communities.
“Remember to embrace Jackie and know that ‘a life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives,’” Price said. “I want you to give, give, give and give … Know that freedom isn’t truly free and sometimes you’ll have to fight for it and invest in it. You’ll have to fight to have your voices heard.”
The graduate student address was given by Alicia Bryant Winterbottom, who talked about the challenges she made in earning her graduate degree in Master of Science, Transportation and Engineering Management. Winterbottom’s journey included caring for a toddler while pregnant and often writing a term paper with that toddler in her lap while her husband, a merchant marine, was off at sea.
“Fourteen years ago I was in your shoes and graduated in the global studies class of 2008, well before a master’s program existed,” Winterbottom said. “I truly feel like I’ve come full circle to the cadet, to work in the industry to a student once again working on my masters, to a mentor for a student in the graduate program and now on this stage. To be honest, it’s surreal. You never know quite to expect when your sitting here at graduation getting ready to embark on your next adventure. But to quote my dad, ‘The journey is everything, it’s not always about the destination. And it’s been quite the journey.”