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SUNY Maritime Installs First Woman President

The torch of leadership at S.U.N.Y. Maritime College has been passed to Wendi Carpenter.

In a moving installation ceremony that coincided with the swearing in of cadets in the class of 2015, Carpenter became the first woman president of S.U.N.Y. Maritime on Wednesday, August 31. The S.U.N.Y. board of trustees honored outgoing president and retired Vice-Adm. John Craine.

Craine was called a “remarkable anchor to the state university of New York,” by S.U.N.Y. chancellor Nancy Zimpher.

“It is a bittersweet day for all of us who know and admire Admiral Craine,” Zimpher stated.

In his remarks Craine said that he was grateful to the faculty for helping to shoulder budget cuts without cutting programs, and praised their ability to add programs in difficult fiscal times.

He said the faculty was keeping the coursework relevant to the changing world the students will live and work in.

Carpenter comes to the school as a retired Rear-Adm. with 34 years of service in the United States Navy, where she was the 31st woman to be designated a naval aviator. She served the nation in the Pacific Ocean and Alaska, accumulating over 3,500 flight hours, and worked in support of the country’s strategic nuclear mission.

Upon retiring from the Navy, a career in academia seemed like a logical next step, Carpenter said.

“Most of what has ever motivated me in life has been developing leadership in other people,” Carpenter stated. “I really like the smaller nature of the school, where I can get to know the students and impact their lives.”

Carpenter holds a masters degree in International Relations from Salve Regina University, and is a graduate of the United States War College. She has completed executive programs in business, strategic planning, and innovation at the NATO School in Germany, UNC Business School, Babson College, National Defense University, and Defense Acquisition University.

While Carpenter has never lived in New York, she said that she is a diehard Yankee fan, and plans on taking in some games in the near future.

“I have always been a Yankee fan, because my dad, a Navy man, was a Yankee fan,” Carpenter stated.

She is proud to be part of the “Maritime Nation,” she said.

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