(singke) #1

16 MARINER / 2016 - ISSUE 3

Castine Current

Photo by Cristin Wright


ost of the MMA community know Dr.
David Gardner as Vice President for
Academic Affairs and Provost, a position
he’s held since 2014.
Few know of his long and meritorious service
in the Coast Guard from which he retired as Cap-
tain at a ceremony held on October 15 at Coast
Guard Base Boston.
Gardner began his military career in 1977
when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a Seaman
Recruit. He accrued eight years of enlisted
service, first in the Navy and later in the Coast
Guard, promoting up to Quartermaster First
Class. Gardner then earned a commission and
served 30 years as an officer, finishing as the most

senior Captain in the Coast Guard Reserve.
His assignments were far-ranging. He served as
a navigator aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisen-
hower, the only enlisted man in the Navy at the
time to qualify as a conning officer on an aircraft
carrier. Ultimately, he served as a deck watch
officer on five different ships over the course of
12 years, with duty ranging from the Persian Gulf
during the Iranian hostage incident to migrant
interdiction operations in the Caribbean. Shore
duty assignments included Search and Rescue
Mission Coordinator for the Atlantic Area com-
mand center, Chief of International Operations,
Deputy Chief of the Seventh District Contingen-
cy Preparedness Branch in Miami, Reserve Chief

of Staff for the First District in Boston, and
finally senior Coast Guard officer attached to
the Navy’s Expeditionary Combat Command.
Gardner’s academic and educational back-
ground show another important side of his life
and career. He received his Ph.D. in Develop-
mental, Cell and Molecular Biology from Duke
University, a bachelor’s degree in biology from
Trinity College, coursework from the US Joint
Forces Staff College, US Naval War College,
MIT, Cornell and more. He was an Associate
Professor of Biology and Biochemistry at Ro-
anoke College, and later, Dean of Pre-Medical
Programs for Mount Holyoke College before
throwing his anchor ashore at MMA.
At his retirement ceremony, Gardner
reflected on his career, saying, “If I have
accomplished anything it is because I have
had good role models and been entrusted with
mentoring smart, enthusiastic shipmates who
were assigned with me. I’ve emulated great
leaders and learned from true professionals.
I’ve been privileged by unfailing support from
my employers, my colleagues and most impor-
tantly, my family. There were times it was really
tough on my family to have me away, or to have
me here, but still gone...my mind somewhere
else, on watch. I have made great friends, gone
places and done things of which some people can
only dream. Of all the experiences, being a part
of saving lives at sea has been the highlight.”
At the ceremony, Gardner’s sons, Nathan and
Benjamin, both in military services, read the
poem Th e Wa t c h, ending with: “Today we re-
spectfully gather here to say, ‘Shipmate, the watch
stands relieved. Relieved by those you have led,
guided, and trained. Captain Gardner, you stand
relieved. We have the watch.”


Lauded for his 38 years of service, Gardner retires from Coast Guard

(Left-right) Seaman Benjamin Gardner, USCG, Capt. Gardner, Dr. Bridget Gardner, and Airman First Class Nathan Gardner, USAF


he 16th Annual Career Fair was held at MMA on Thursday,
October 20th. The Career Services Office reported 69 com-
panies exhibited and 829 students and alumni attended.
Attendance was up from last year, and the diversity of companies
was also notable: there was something for everyone.


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