Dear Campus Community,

Please join me in celebrating yet another milestone in Dr. Peter Santschi’s extraordinary career. Dr. Santschi is among the small group of faculty at Texas A&M University this year to receive the highest distinction a faculty can receive, being recognized as a Distinguished Professor. The University Distinguished Professor designation identifies faculty members who are considered pre-eminent in their own field, have made at least one transformational contribution or substantial intellectual leap forward in their discipline, and have made a major impact in their field.

During his 45+ year research career in earth sciences and environmental chemistry, Dr. Santschi has developed and communicated novel insights into the blueprints of the natural and anthropogenically affected processes in aquatic environments, spanning from rain water to rivers and lakes to groundwater to surface and deep ocean. During his impactful career, he mentored over 40+ graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and scientists all over the world, and was able to pioneer new concepts and approaches that were truly transformational. He was also elected to the European Academy of Science in 2020.

Please join me in congratulating Peter for sustaining such extraordinary level of excellence for so long. This is a well-deserved recognition and we are proud of his representation of our Campus among the Distinguished Professors of Texas A&M University.

MARAD Authorizes the Construction of Two Additional National Security Multi-Mission Vessels

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) today authorized the construction of two additional National Security Multi-Mission Vessels (NSMV), which will replace aging training vessels at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, and Texas A&M Maritime Academy in Galveston, Texas. MARAD previously authorized the construction of the first two NSMVs, destined for SUNY Maritime College in Bronx, New York, and Massachusetts Maritime Academy, in Bourne, Massachusetts, on April 8, 2020.

“The NSMV is part of a strategy to bolster maritime education, revitalize U.S. shipbuilding, and provide a much-needed shot in the arm to the U.S. maritime industry,” added Doug Burnett, the Chief Counsel of MARAD, who is acting in lieu of the Administrator. “America must be a maritime nation if it is to continue to lead the world in this century.”

With this authorization, recapitalization of our nation’s aging maritime training fleet is nearly complete. Construction of all authorized vessels at Philly Shipyard, Inc. will also strengthen America’s industrial base while supporting more than 1,200 shipyard jobs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The NSMV will feature numerous instructional spaces, a full training bridge, and have space for up to 600 cadets in a first-rate maritime academic environment at sea. State maritime academies graduate approximately 70 percent of all new officers each year—the merchant mariners who help keep cargoes and our economy moving. Many also support U.S. national security by crewing military sealift vessels.

The NSMV is also a highly functional national asset that includes modern medical facilities, a helicopter pad, the ability to accommodate up to 1,000 people in times of humanitarian need, and roll-on/roll-off and container storage capacity for use during disaster relief missions.

In May 2019, MARAD awarded TOTE Services, LLC a contract to be the Vessel Construction Manager for the NSMV program. This contract is an innovative approach to federal shipbuilding where the government benefits from commercial best practices for ship design and construction. In April 2020, TOTE Services awarded Philly Shipyard, Inc. a contract to construct up to five NSMVs with fixed prices and schedules.

Nominations for 2021 thru 2022 Officers

Sea Aggie Former Student Network Officer Positions

Below you will find the responsibilities for each officer position. Each officer will serve for a two-year term. All officers must be an active donor to the Association of Former Students.

Elections will be held in 2021. Nominations are open for December 1st through December 10th. To self-nominate or to nominate another Sea Aggie for any position, please fill out the form: 2020 Nominations for Sea Aggie Former Student Network Board Positions.


The President shall preside over all meetings and have general supervision of the working of The Network. The President shall appoint all chairpersons of committees, as well as perform such other duties and have such other powers as the membership shall designate. The President shall represent The Network on The Association’s Leadership Council. The President shall be the principal executive officer of the organization and, in general, shall supervise and control all of the business and affairs of The Network, subject to review by the Board of Directors. At each annual meeting of members, and from time to time, the President shall report to the members and to the Board of Directors all matters within his or her knowledge that he or she deems of interest to The Network to be brought to the notice of such persons.


The Secretary shall keep the minutes of all meetings of the Board of Directors, and all standing committees, if any, of the Board of Directors. The Secretary shall be custodian of the corporate records and the corporate seal of The Network, and affix the corporate seal to all documents on behalf of The Network under which it is authorized; shall have general charge of such books and papers of The Network, all of which shall be open at all reasonable times to the examination of any Director; and, in general, shall perform all duties and exercise all powers incident to the office of the Secretary, and other duties and powers as from time to time may be assigned to him or her by the Board of Directors or the President.


The Treasurer shall keep complete and accurate records of account, showing at all times the financial condition of The Network; shall be the legal custodian of all money, notes, securities and other valuables which may from time to time come into possession of The Network; shall have the oversight of property belonging to The Network; shall furnish a statement of the financial condition of The Network at meetings of the Board of Directors or whenever requested; and, in general, shall  exercise all duties incident to the office of the Treasurer, and other duties and powers as from time to time may be assigned to him or her by the President or the Board of Directors.

Communications Officer

The Communications Officer shall be responsible for all internal and external communications for The Network. This includes all media, public relations and internal communications to ensure the public, as well as the members, are informed of The Networks mission, vision, and goals. In collaboration with the board, the Communications Officer shall approve all external marketing of The Network to include The Network’s website.

Membership Development Officer

The Membership Development Officer will be directly responsible for the annual membership goals set by the Board of Directors. This position will be responsible for the implementation of the short and long term strategy for the recruitment of new members and the retention of current members.
Student Outreach and Networking Officer

The Student Outreach and Networking Officer shall work in coordination with the Communication Officer, the university and any other entity deemed necessary to establish networking events and activities with the intention of establishing networking opportunities. The emphasis of this position will be to provide networking opportunities for former and current students with industry representatives. This position will also be the Network’s representative to the student body.

Industry Liaison Officer

The Industry Liaison Officer will be responsible for establishing strategic relationships between The Network and with various industry leaders. He/she shall collaborate between industry officials, university officials and the student body fostering the communication between all parties. He/she will influence industry officials to support Texas A&M at Galveston, current students and the Network. He/she shall present university officials, current students and Network members information regarding events and opportunities occurring within various industries. He/she will assist in providing opportunities for Network members to network with established industry leaders.

University Liaison Officer

The University Liaison Officer shall be an active donor to The Association. The School Liaison Officer shall be elected from the membership by the Board of Directors by a majority vote. He/She will be responsible for the The Network’s activities involved with the university, The Association, or events that involve both. He/She will facilitate with faculty and staff to communicate findings from the Industry Liaison Officer and may or may not be an active representative from Texas A&M University at Galveston.

Sea Aggie Former Student Network Annual Golf Tournament – April 29, 2021

The Second Annual Sea Aggie Former Student Network Golf Tournament was held on April 29th at the Wild Cat Golf Club, 12000 Almeda Road Houston.  Proceeds from the event will be used to provide scholarships to Sea Aggie students attending Texas A&M University – Galveston. This years event has raised in excess of $40,000 dollars. If you were unable to join us for the tournament but wish to support the endowed scholarship, you may contribute directly to the scholarship fund through the link below. Your support and generosity will be most appreciated by the recipients of the scholarships. The first recipient of the Sea Aggie Former Student Network endowed scholarship will be announced in the fall of 2021.

SAFSN Endowed Scholarship Donations


The Sea Aggie Former Students Network is very fortunate to have such wonderful supporters and sponsors, we are looking forward to getting together again for next years tournament and fundraiser.

Advocate for a Texas A&M Maritime Academy Training Ship

As part of our mission to provide conscientious assistance to the maritime & marine student and to promote the interests and welfare of Texas A&M University at Galveston, the Sea Aggie Former Student Network (SAFSN) has taken a strong position of support for the Texas A&M Maritime Academy for obtaining a training ship that is best suitable for the purpose of the Academy.

Voyage Distance and Times for the Gulf of Mexico

In this case, obtaining an appropriate sized and outfitted training ship for the Academy, also serves the needs of the Gulf Coast communities to have a prepositioned emergency response ship within a relatively close proximity to the other major Gulf Coast ports. We are asking for your support to reach out to your US Representative and US Senators. Reaching out to politicians is not difficult, it is an easy thing to do. Below is a bullet point list of several different ways to reach out to your elected officials:

• Write a letter and place it in the US Mail (use our form letter)
• Write a letter and fax it to the official (use our form letter)
• Make a call to your official (phone numbers are available on Facebook)
• Send a message through their web site (We provide the link to their respective site in  our outreach document)
• Send twitter message (easy to do on twitter)

SAFSN has developed form letters that cover the key points of this issue, and an outreach document that has contact details for all federal elected congressmen of Gulf Coast States:

If you are a former student: SAFSN Former Student Letter
If you are a current student: SAFSN Current Student Letter
If you are the parent of a current student: SAFSN Parent Letter
If you are an interested business entity: SAFSN Enterprise Letter
Contact list for Senators and Representative of Gulf Coast States: Congressional Outreach Contact List

If you are not familiar with the NSMV Program, it is a training ship platform with the design already funded by the US Government. The program provides a standard design training and response ship to the Maritime Administration (MARAD). MARAD provides the ships to the State Maritime Academies in accordance with their mission.

On March 23, 2018 President Trump signed the 2018 omnibus spending bill, making it law. This appropriations law has $300,000 allocated for funding of the first of up to five (5) NSMV Training Ships. Funding for the design of this ship was approved by Congress and signed into law in 2017. Details of the NSMV design can be found at this link: NSMV Training Ship Design. The first ship to be built has been allocated to the State University of New York Maritime College whose training ship the Empire State VI, was built in 1962.

FY 19 Funding bills for State Maritime Academies

On May 23rd 2018, the House of Representative Appropriations Committee approved the 2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill which included $300,000 for the second NSMV training ship. This appropriations proposal should find its way to the House floor for discussion and voting.

On June 7th 2018, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related (THUD) Appropriations Act. This proposal also has $300,000 for the second NSMV training ship. This should eventually make its way to the Senate floor for discussion and voting in its current form. If the second NSMV ships is funded, the US Maritime Administration is currently intending to allocate it to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

While we seemingly have congressional support to continue for the NSMV training ship program, we must be aware that the second ship is not currently planned to be allocated to the Texas A&M Maritime Academy, and it is not planned to be prepositioned in the Gulf of Mexico to be available for emergency response. The Gulf Coast experiences more natural disasters from weather, than the East Coast and the West Coast combined. The US Gulf Coast has more waterborne import and export activity by value, than the West Coast or the East Coast. The Gulf of Coast has the majority of oil and chemical plants serving the needs of the country, than all other regions combined. The Gulf Coast should have the capability to provide timely response with national assets to serve and protect these valuable resources. Please find a link to a position papers on Texas A&M Maritime Academy Training Ship Requirements and on Gulf Coast emergency response:

Texas A&M Maritime Academy Training Ship Requirements and Gulf Coast Emergency Response Needs

Thank you for contacting your US Representative and your Senators and showing your support for Texas A&M and the Gulf Coast region. Please continue to send letters and make calls to support this effort.

To show appreciation for the school support by the Gulf Coast community and the Former Students, there will be receptions at each port of call; New Orleans, Corpus Christi, and Tampa.

Texas A&M Maritime Academy Port Call Receptions
New Orleans
Wednesday, June 20
4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Port of New Orleans – Julia Street Cruise Terminal

Corpus Christi
Saturday, June 30
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Solomon P. Ortiz International Center

Thursday, July 12
Time TBD.
Venue TBD

Please be sure to
Include the number of your guests

Sea Aggie Former Student Network (SAFSN)