(VALLEJO, Calif. – October 7, 2013) – Cal Maritime’s Homecoming Week events will include the Inauguration of President Thomas A. Cropper and the first official visit to campus by California State University Chancellor Timothy White.

White, former chancellor at UC Riverside, took office as the CSU chancellor in January. During his first year, he is planning to visit all 23 campuses to meet with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members. Chancellor White visited the Training Ship Golden Bear in Southern California earlier this year during the annual training cruise.

The two-day stop to campus on Thursday and Friday October 10-11 will include classroom visits, a tour of campus, and meetings with various groups from campus and the community. October 11, White will participate in the Inauguration of Cal Maritime’s 14th President, Thomas A. Cropper.

President Cropper took office on July 1, 2012 after a 31-year career in the United States Navy. Cropper is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in engineering operations and received his commission from the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 1981. He was designated a naval aviator in 1982, followed by operational assignments with 3 aircraft carrier-based jet squadrons. He went on to serve as the commanding officer of a F/A-18 strikefighter squadron and as commander of the air wing aboard USS NIMITZ. Most recently, Cropper directed education and at-sea training for Navy ships and aviation squadrons deploying to the western Pacific and the Middle East.

Cropper graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval War College earning a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. He holds additional master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee (Aviation Systems) and the Catholic University of America (World Politics). He is the recipient of the Michael Ripley Award as Naval Test Pilot School Instructor of the Year, and was also selected as the U.S. Atlantic Fleet Pilot of the Year. His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, and various service and campaign awards.

He served as military assistant in the Office of Secretary of Defense William Cohen and was appointed Navy Federal Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He led “Strike University” at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, served as chief of staff, U.S. 3rd Fleet, headed the Joint Chiefs of Staff Working Group chartered with the development of national level security strategy, and led and managed 24,000 people in combat operations as deputy commander, U.S. Naval Forces, U.S. Central Command.

Cropper lives on the Cal Maritime campus in Vallejo, California with his wife Heather. Their two daughters attended CSU campuses and their son is a Class of 2012 alumnus of The California Maritime Academy.

Following the chancellor’s visit and inauguration ceremony, Cal Maritime will kick off homecoming festivities. Saturday, October 12, the events will center on the Cal Maritime campus with activities for students, alumni, friends, and family. Despite the cancellation of Fleet Week activities, the T.S. Golden Bear will still sail on Sunday, October 13 for the annual Day on the Bay. This year, ship will take a unique tour of the San Francisco Bay, including a trip by the original location of the Cal Maritime Campus when it was known as the California Nautical School before anchoring for lunch.



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 offers undergraduate degrees that prepare students for careers in engineering, transportation, international relations, business, and global logistics. Cal Maritime also offers a master’s degree in Transportation and Engineering Management, as well as a number of extended learning programs and courses.