(Vallejo, California – May 31, 2020) – Dear Campus Colleagues,
On Saturday, we celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2020 --- an amazingly resilient group of women and men whose professional futures were “made at Cal Maritime.” This virtual commencement ceremony, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, served to bring a happy conclusion to years of education, training and development delivered by our dedicated faculty and staff. Families, friends, relatives, neighbors, and supporters cheered on the newest graduates of our great academy. It was a special day, and we have many folks on our campus to thank for their incredible efforts to make this day a very special one for our graduates.
We are sending our graduates into the world with a sense of accomplishment, enthusiasm, hope and purpose. They will need it. This past week our nation witnessed the senseless death of an American, George Floyd, in Minneapolis. An unarmed African-American man --- someone’s father and someone’s son --- joined another American, Ahmaud Abery of Georgia, as a victim of violence and racism. We find it difficult to find the words to convey the sadness, shock, and anger we all feel in these tragic and inhumane deaths. Our hearts and prayers go out to their families and friends, as well as to our own African-American friends, colleagues, cadets and community partners who are experiencing a sense of pain, loss and anger rooted in recurring acts of racism and injustice.
But hearts and prayers are not enough. Until we lift up and address the needs of those who are personally hurt or harmed by these awful events, it will be difficult for us as a nation, state, city, community or campus to move forward. We must all move forward together or we will likely not move at all. It will not be enough for us to say we are against racism. We each need to examine biases we may carry, take responsibility for them, and move to change them. We must remove any barriers preventing us from meaningful engagement with our fellow human beings. It will be critical that we deliberately devote our efforts to personally address the challenges our African-American friends and neighbors are facing in our region, beginning in Vallejo, and across the nation. While we might struggle with how to successfully address racism, we are certain that we can begin by being compassionate, supportive and fully inclusive in our programs and in our personal actions. We ask that we each commit to an intentional, genuine effort to honor the inherent and inviolate humanity of all people, acting consistently with kindness, care, and collaboration --- living out our campus values of dedication, honor, integrity, respect, responsibility and trust.
While these recent events might leave us distressed, we also know that we can count upon the goodness of the people on our Cal Maritime campus. We know that you will not be silent or ignore the ugliness of racism. We know that you will denounce efforts to belittle, or minimize others. We know that you will listen to the voices of your colleagues who are experiencing racism and be their allies in the pursuit of justice. We know that you will each be a guiding light on our campus.
As your Cabinet and leadership team, we too will not be silent. We will continue to support everyone throughout our campus community and stand united with all of our African-American friends and neighbors, as we continue to strive to fulfill our powerful and compelling campus mission.
Tom Cropper, President
Mike Mahoney, Provost & VPAA
Franz Lozano, VP of Administration & Finance
Bob Arp, VP of University Advancement
Stan Hebert, VP of Student Affairs
Sam Pecota, Captain of TSGB
Michael Martin, AVP of Human Resources
Brig Timpson, Chief of Staff