The International Propeller Club of the United States, Port of Houston, hosted a Salute to the Texas Maritime Academy at Texas A&M University at Galveston on Thursday, July 21.
Dennis Sullivan introduced the Superintendent of the Texas Maritime Academy, Rear Admiral William W. Pickavance, Jr., U.S. Navy, Retired.
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“Texas Maritime Academy, we’re almost 50 years old,” Pickavance said, recalling his time as a student at the academy and the changes he has made since becoming superintendent.
“It kind of got amalgamated into the university and kind of lost its identity there for a while,” he said. “It was obvious we needed to make some changes to get our identity back. And so we’ve done that - in the process we’ve gotten our standards up.”
Pickavance said the academy is hampered by not having a training ship.
“We don’t have a ship!” he said. “Everybody understand that? Tell your Congressman, the Great State of Texas, the largest state in the Continental United States, one of six maritime academies in the country (doesn't have a training ship).”
He noted that other areas of the country have training ships, but not Texas.
“That really bums the hell out of me, I don’t know about you,” Pickavance said. “That’s just not right.”
He said efforts are continuing to find even a temporary ship to use at the Pelican Island campus, but for the past seven years the Sea Aggies have been taking summer cruises on the Golden Bear, the training ship of the California Maritime Academy.