Celebrating our 2024 Graduates

Saturday, May 4

Commissioning Ceremony
9 a.m.
Commencement Ceremony
11 a.m.
4 guest tickets per graduate

Keynote Speaker: Captain John Betz 

Captain John Betz

Captain John Betz, a double alumnus of California State University Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime), serves as chair of the California Maritime Academy Foundation Board. Captain Betz earned his Bachelor of Science degree in nautical science from Cal Maritime and a juris doctorate degree from the University of California, College of the Law, San Francisco before returning to Cal Maritime to earn a Master of Science degree in transportation management.   

After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Cal Maritime, Captain Betz spent 17 years sailing on Chevron Shipping Company’s ocean-going tankers, eventually serving as shipmaster. Chevron Shipping recognized Captain Betz for various achievements, including developing an employee indoctrination program and inventing a patented apparatus that prevented fatal lifeboat accidents. Captain Betz went on to build an independent consulting firm that specialized in a risk-based approach to ship management. He built an operational management system that formed the basis for a significant company-wide cultural shift for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and personally trained their entire engine officer corps.    

Captain Betz is currently the chief port pilot at the Port of Los Angeles, the largest container port in the western hemisphere. He jointly oversees the Los Angeles Pilot Service, a team of dedicated professionals that diligently strive to ensure the safe and efficient movement of vessels within the Port. He holds pilot licenses for Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbors, San Francisco Bay, Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet, and various minor Alaska ports. 

Captain Betz chairs the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Safety Committee and is a member of the Propeller Club of Los Angeles/Long Beach, Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club and American Legion Post 43. He is a past president of the California State University Maritime Academy Alumni Association and a former commissioner on the State Bar of California, Admiralty and Maritime Law Commission. He has also served in both the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy Reserve. 

Captain Betz is also a proud parent of a current cadet, Class of 2025. 



Friends & Family


Faculty & Staff

alumni swag

Commemorate the Class of 2024 at Keelhauler Shops

Commemorate the Class of 2024 with a gift from the Keelhauler Shops! Keelhauler Shops offers school spirit gear, uniforms, academic supplies, convenience items, food, and more.


The 2024 #CalMaritimeGrad Social Media Toolkit is now available!

Use the #CalMaritimeGrad Toolkit to help celebrate the Class of 2024 wherever you are. View or download our album of social media graphics, printable signs, and Zoom backgrounds!