June 28, 2011

The Division of Academic Affairs, in conjunction with Cal Maritime’s New Student Shared Literary Experience Committee, is initiating a program to introduce students to Cal Maritime’s academic environment. The Shared Literary Experience Program kicks off for all new students this summer with its inaugural title, Caroline Alexander’s The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition (Knopf, 1998).

All incoming students are required to read The Endurance prior to arriving on campus for New Student Orientation this fall. This fascinating and comprehensive account of legendary explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 trip to the South Pole is a gripping tale of leadership, hardship and survival.

More than 250 students will be participating in the program, which was designed to help acquaint new students with Cal Maritime’s academic environment, initiate relationships between the students and the campus community, and inspire a lifelong love of intellectual learning.

“We are thrilled to introduce this new reading program to all of our incoming students,” said Dr. Gerald Jakubowski, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “We selected this particular book because it ties so well to Cal Maritime’s mission, values, and standards – and, in particular, to our leadership development program.”

Dr. Donna Nincic, Director of the ABS School of Maritime Policy and Management, will give a multimedia lecture on the book to new students during Orientation in September. The presentation will be followed by 12 leadership-oriented breakout sessions led by faculty and campus life staff.  

Faculty will also incorporate the book in their classroom discussions and assignments throughout the academic year. In addition, later in the fall semester, a documentary based on the expedition will be shown, and Scott Shackleton, a Cal Maritime alumnus and distant relative of the explorer, will give a talk on leadership, the Antarctic, and the Shackleton legacy.

“Alexander’s book is appealing because it tells how Shackleton had to make difficult decisions under extreme adversity,” added Jakubowski. “It’s perfect for anyone interested in leadership development.”

The Endurance is now available for purchase in hard copy, e-book and audio formats at amazon.com (prices vary), and will be available at the campus bookstore (ISBN:  0375404031).  The Cal Maritime library also will carry a limited number of copies for students to check out.

For additional information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 707-654-1190.

Established in 1929, California State University Maritime Academy is the only degree-granting maritime academy on the West Coast. Located in Vallejo, California, the campus serves nearly 1,000 students and offers undergraduate degrees preparing students for careers in engineering, transportation, international relations, business, and global logistics. The new oceanography degree program launched in the fall of 2020. Cal Maritime also offers a master’s degree in Transportation and Engineering Management, as well as a number of extended learning programs and courses.