Maine Maritime Academy
Prospective Students Alumni Parents Students Directions Home

Maine Maritime Academy to Dedicate Navigation Training Vessel in Honor of Alumna, Trustee, and First Female Portland Harbor Pilot: Capt. Susan J. Clark

CASTINE, Maine—Maine Maritime Academy will celebrate the life of Susan J. Clark and honor her service to the college with a ceremonial dedication of the Academy’s 70-foot navigation training vessel to be named the Capt. Susan J. Clark. The dedication will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. at the Castine waterfront. Close friends, family, and fellow pilots will participate in the ceremony.

Susan J. Clark led a rewarding life, pursuing a career that was full of firsts. She graduated first in her class from Maine Maritime Academy (’85); she was the first female captain employed by Exxon; and she served Portland Harbor as its first female harbor pilot. 

As a Portland Harbor pilot, Susan spent 11 years guiding nearly 1,000 ships in and out of the city’s harbor. She was highly respected on the waterfront and she was at ease on the bridge of a ship. Her friends and colleagues knew her as a devoted mother, a consummate captain, and an engaged member of her community; she was also an esteemed member of the Maine Maritime Academy Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2007. In 2005, she became the first woman to join the Portland Marine Society.  Captain Clark passed away one year ago at the age of 48 after battling cancer.

Maine Maritime Academy is honored to name its navigation training vessel in memory of Capt. Clark so that her inspiration will live on. As student navigators-in-training work on the ship that bears her name, students will learn of Susan’s courage and integrity, her love of life, and her respect for the sea.

Maine Maritime Academy is a co-educational, public college on the coast of Maine offering 18 degree programs in engineering, management, science and transportation. For more information, visit


Quick Links