California State University Maritime Academy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from California Maritime Academy)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

California State University Maritime Academy
CSU Maritime Academy seal.svg
Former names
California Nautical School (1929–39)
California Maritime Academy (1939–2015)[1]
MottoLaborare Pugnare Parati Sumus (Latin)
Motto in English
To work, to fight, we are ready[2]
TypePublic university
Established1929; 93 years ago (1929)[3]
Academic affiliations
California State University system
Endowment$10.7 million (2020)[4]
PresidentRear Adm. Thomas A. Cropper, USN
ProvostLori Schroeder[5]
Students907 (Fall 2020)[6]
Undergraduates892 (Fall 2020)[6]
Postgraduates15 (Fall 2020)[6]
Location, ,
United States
Campus92 acres (37 ha)[2]
ColorsNavy and Gold[2]
Sporting affiliations
MascotGolden Beard[2]
CSU Maritime Academy logo.svg

The California State University Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime or CSU Maritime Academy) is a public university in Vallejo, California. It is one of 23 campuses in the California State University system and the only maritime academy on the United States West Coast.[7] It is located in Vallejo, California. The university offers six different Bachelor's degrees, and one Master's degree.[8][9]


The California Nautical School was established in 1929, when California State Assembly Bill No. 253 was signed into law by Governor C. C. Young. The bill authorized the creation of the school, the appointment of a Board of Governors to manage the school and the acquisition of a training vessel. The school's mission was "to give practical and theoretical instruction in navigation, seamanship, steam engines, gas engines, and electricity in order to prepare young men to serve as officers in the American Merchant Marine." By 1930, a training vessel and a school site was acquired; the original location of what would become California Maritime Academy was Tiburon, California in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Due to the Great Depression, the early days of the Academy were full of financial uncertainty. As early as 1933, some state legislators were calling for the school's abolition. In order to save money, the cadets and instructors alike lived and held classes aboard the training vessel, the T.S. California State. Only after the passage of the Merchant Marine Act of 1936 did the funding for the Academy stabilize.

TS Golden Bear after it was hauled out and painted a navy blue.

In 1939 the California Nautical School adopted the name, the California Maritime Academy. By 1940, the Academy was granting Bachelor of Science degrees and Naval Reserve commissions to its graduates; this step marked the beginning of the transition from the status of trade school to college. In 1943, the Academy moved to its present location in Vallejo, California.

In the 1970s, after surviving another round of budget cuts and calls for the Academy's abolition, California Maritime Academy became a four-year institution. The 1970s also marked the time when the first minority and female cadets graduated from California Maritime Academy.

In 1995 California Maritime Academy became the twenty-second campus of the California State University system.[2] The new affiliation improved the Academy's funding prospects considerably. The current training vessel is the T.S. Golden Bear, and is the third training ship to carry that name.

In September 2015, the California State University Board of Trustees approved a new name, the California State University Maritime Academy.[10]

Superintendents and presidents[edit]

A rear admiral's flag.

Since the passage of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970, the position of President of the Cal Maritime is commissioned as a Rear Admiral (Upper Half) in the United States Maritime Service. Two past Presidents are alumni of the Academy itself.

From To Name Rank Notes
May 11, 1930 February 14, 1934 Emil Topp LCDR, USN (ret)
February 15, 1934 June 30, 1937 Dr. Richard C. Dwyer See Note 1
July 1, 1937 June 30, 1940 Neil E. Nichols CAPT, USN (ret)
July 1, 1940 October 31, 1947 Claude B. Mayo CAPT, USN (ret) See Note 2
November 1, 1947 February 15, 1955 Russel M. Ihreg COMMO, USN (ret)
February 16, 1955 June 20, 1955 Carroll T. Bonney CAPT, USN (ret) Acting Superintendent
June 21, 1955 November 1, 1965 Henry E. Richter CAPT, USN (ret)
October 15, 1965 October 1, 1971 Francis T. Williamson RADM, USN (ret)
October 1, 1971 August 1, 1972 Edwin C. Miller CDR, USN (ret) '34-D CMA, Interim See Note 3,
August 2, 1972 November 11, 1983 Joseph P. Rizza RADM, USMS CAPT, USN (ret), See Note 4
November 11, 1983 August 31, 1990 John J. Ekelund RADM, USMS RADM, USN (ret)
August 31, 1990 June 30, 1996 Dr. Mary E. Lyons RADM, USMS CDR, USNR
July 1, 1996 June 30, 2001 Jerry A. Aspland RADM, USMS '62-D CMA
July 1, 2001 June 30, 2012 Dr. William B. Eisenhardt RADM, USMS[11] Unk, USN
July 1, 2012 Present Thomas A. Cropper RADM, USMS[12] RDML, USN (ret)[13]
  1. R.C.Dwyer replaced by N.E. Nichols due to Navy requirements for regular Navy officers to be in charge of Navy-owned ships.
  2. Early WWII – Superintendent and Master became separate positions.
  3. Edwin C. Miller appointed Interim Superintendent October 1971 – July 1972.
  4. On February 27, 1975, the title of "Superintendent" was changed to "President."

Training ships[edit]

From To Name Former Name
1931 1946 T. S. California State/ T. S. Golden State USS Henry County (IX-34)
1946 1971 T. S. Golden Bear USS Mellena (AKA-32)
1971 1995 T. S. Golden Bear II USS Crescent City (APA-21)
1996 Present T. S. Golden Bear III USNS Maury (T-AGS-39)


Degree programs[edit]

Cal Maritime offers one graduate and six undergraduate degrees, all of which are tied to a nautical curriculum. An additional Oceanography major is expected to be added in fall 2020. As of fall 2018 CSU Maritime has the largest enrollment percentage of Pacific Islander Americans and Multiracial Americans, the second White and third percentage of Unknown Americans in the California State University system.[16]


Money magazine ranked Cal Maritime 15th in the country for value out of 623 schools it evaluated for its 2022 Best Colleges in America ranking.[17]

In 2019 Forbes ranked Cal Maritime as the 309th top college in the nation and 64th in the West.[18]

The 2021 U.S. News & World Report college rankings lists Cal Maritime as the No. 1 "Top Public College" and tied for 2nd out of 102 schools in the category "Regional Colleges (West)".[19]

According to a study by the Equality of Opportunity Project, the Cal Maritime had the best results of any California college in helping transform students whose parents were relatively poor (bottom 20 percent of the income bracket) into adults who are relatively wealthy (top 20 percent income) within a decade after graduation. 85% of poor students eventually became relatively wealthy. However, only 6% of the students came from poor families.[20]

Corps of Cadets[edit]

Undergraduate demographics as of Fall 2020
Race and ethnicity[21] Total
White 46% 46
Hispanic 23% 23
Other[a] 16% 16
Asian 11% 11
Black 2% 2
Native American 1% 1
Pacific Islander 1% 1
Economic diversity
Low-income[b] 22% 22
Affluent[c] 78% 78

Cal Maritime is the United States' only maritime academy on the West Coast and requires all undergraduate students to participate in the Corps of Cadets. The only similar program in the Western United States is at the junior college New Mexico Military Institute. Since Maritime Academies comply with Title 46 Part 310 of the Code of Federal Regulations students are referred to as Cadets, required to wear uniforms, and utilize a demerit-based disciplinary system. Participation in Navy Reserve Merchant Marine training program is no longer required, but Cadets still utilize Merchant Marine Navy-style uniforms, customs, and traditions. Based on academic majors cadets are organized into Squads, Sections, Divisions and Companies which regularly muster in Morning Formations several times a week, as well as stand watches on campus and aboard the training ship.[22]

Military options[edit]

There is no armed service obligation attached to graduation from the Cal Maritime. However, financial aid and additional career opportunities exist for those students who choose to participate in any of the several military programs available on the Cal Maritime campus:


The Cal Maritime athletics teams are called the Keelhaulers (formerly known as the "Seawolves"). The academy is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the California Pacific Conference (Cal Pac) since the 1996–97 academic year.

Cal Maritime competes in 14 intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include basketball, crew, cross country, golf, rugby, soccer and water polo; while women's sports include basketball, crew, cross country, golf, soccer and water polo; and co-ed sports include sailing.


The Keelhauler mascot was chosen as Cal Maritime's athletic mascot by cadets in 1974, the name taken from a form of corporal punishment that was formerly used in the Dutch and English navies. Keelhauling involved tying the hands of a crewmember to a rope and hauling him under the keel of the ship. While the practice of Keelhauling was formally abolished in 1853, the Keelhauler lives on as the official mascot of Cal Maritime athletics.


Cal Maritime has a long history of athletic activities. Before it joined regular intercollegiate athletics, sports teams from Cal Maritime usually played military teams from local bases. In the 1970s, Cal Maritime began to organize its sports under intercollegiate guidelines, and the student body chose the "Keelhauler" as the Academy's mascot. Until then, the Academy's teams were known as the Seawolves.


Cal Maritime's rugby program was started in 1998 and gained varsity status in 2001. Rugby was at one time the school's most successful sport, going undefeated against Division 2 opponents in home matches from 2007 to 2010.[27] Cal Maritime's rugby team has been nationally ranked in college rugby, won the Pacific Coast League's Western Division Championship in 2009 and 2010, and was the runner up in the 2012 championship of the National Small College Rugby Organization. During the 2004–2005 academic year, the women's basketball team was formed and now also competes in the CalPac.

The Academy's sailing team captured the Kennedy Cup – the National Collegiate Sailing Championship – in the fall of 2009. That victory earned it the right to serve as the U.S. representative in the annual Student World Yachting Cup championships in October 2010 in La Rochelle, France, where it placed 5th of 14.

In 2012, the Varsity 4+ of the men's crew team took first place in its event at the Head of the American Regatta. It beat teams from UC Berkeley, UC Davis, CSU Sacramento, CSU Long Beach, Humboldt State University, Saint Mary's College of California, Sonoma State University, and the University of the Pacific. At the 2013 WIRA championships, the men's pair placed 2nd out of 16, while the men's novice 4+ placed 6th out of 19.[28] Also in 2012, Cal Maritime added a men's cross country running team that finished 5th out of 8 teams in the Cal Pac Conference.

In 2014, Cal Maritime added a women's water polo team, followed by a women's soccer team in 2018.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Other consists of Multiracial Americans & those who prefer to not say.
  2. ^ The percentage of students who received an income-based federal Pell grant intended for low-income students.
  3. ^ The percentage of students who are a part of the American middle class at the bare minimum.


  1. ^ "California Maritime Academy Officially Renamed as California State University Maritime Academy". California State University Maritime Academy. September 9, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Campus Facts". California State University Maritime Academy. Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  3. ^ Vallejo Campus Tour
  4. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  5. ^ Glidden, John (June 8, 2020). "Cal Maritime University appoints new provost". Vallejo Times-Herald. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c "Fall Term Student Enrollment". The California State University Institutional Research and Analyses. Archived from the original on December 2, 2019. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  7. ^ "California Maritime Academy - Marine Transportation, Logistics & Engineering Education". Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  8. ^ "Search CSU Degrees". Archived from the original on December 10, 2013. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on April 24, 2015. Retrieved March 19, 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "CSUM | Support » New Name". Archived from the original on December 8, 2015. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  11. ^ Douglas Peterson. (2004). A Brief History: The California Maritime Academy Historical Archives. Retrieved July 29, 2014, from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 30, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Cal Maritime Administration (accessed July 17, 2012) Archived September 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Biography".
  14. ^ "Best Colleges 2021: Regional Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  15. ^ "California State University - Maritime Academy Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  16. ^ "Ethnicity Enrollment Profile". Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  17. ^ "The Best Colleges in America 2022". May 16, 2022. p. Archived from the original on May 30, 2022. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  18. ^ "2019 America's Best Colleges". Forbes. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  19. ^ "Best Colleges 2019". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  20. ^ Which California colleges help transform impoverished students into wealthy adults? , Sacramento Bee, January 24, 2017
  21. ^ "College Scorecard: California State University Maritime Academy". United States Department of Education. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  22. ^ "CSUM". Retrieved December 26, 2014.
  23. ^ California Maritime Academy. "California Maritime Academy Pre-Commissioning Program". Retrieved January 14, 2012.
  24. ^ California Maritime Academy. "Strategic Sealift Officers Program". Archived from the original on January 11, 2012. Retrieved January 14, 2012.
  25. ^ a b California Maritime Academy. "Navy ROTC". Retrieved January 14, 2012.
  26. ^ "CSUM". Retrieved December 26, 2014.
  27. ^ Cal Maritime, Cal Maritime's Highly Successful Rugby Coach Announces Departure, August 25, 2010,
  28. ^ "Collegiate Men & Women: WIRA Championships - complete results". April 28, 2013. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  29. ^ "CSU Maritime Academy: Alumni Association: News". July 2015. Retrieved December 3, 2018. a graduate of Cal Maritime in 2000
  30. ^ "US woman becomes captain of Celebrity ship". Seatrade Cruise News. July 13, 2015. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  31. ^ "CSU Maritime Academy: Alumni Association: News". October 27, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2018. Jamila Reinhardt, '12
  32. ^ "Jamila Reinhardt". USA Rugby. Retrieved December 3, 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°4′10″N 122°13′47″W / 38.06944°N 122.22972°W / 38.06944; -122.22972