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CASTINE, Maine - Captain Robert J. Peacock, II, Eastport, Maine, was recently appointed Chairman of the Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) Board of Trustees. Peacock was elected to the post by a unanimous vote of the college's Board of Trustees at their regular meeting held Friday, August 12, 2011. Peacock was appointed to the 16-member board in 2004 by Maine Governor John Baldacci.
A 1971 graduate of MMA and valedictorian of his class, Peacock is the college's first alumnus to hold the office of chair of the Board. A native of Maine's Washington County, he holds a U.S. Coast Guard unlimited Masters license for vessels of any gross tons with First Class Pilotage for the Great Lakes, Alaska, Texas, Maine, the Delaware River and Puerto Rico.
He sailed as a cadet in Vietnam, as a deck officer with Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company and Sun Transport, and as a master with Interocean Management and Bay Tankers. At age 25, he became the youngest captain on record in the peacetime U.S. Merchant Marine. His commands have included the 395,000-ton UST Atlantic, the largest U.S.-built vessel ever to fly the American flag. He also served for 30 years in the U.S. Naval Reserve and attained the rank of captain.
He currently serves as harbor pilot and docking master for Eastport, and formerly for Penobscot Bay & River and Bar Harbor. Captain Peacock is the operations manager for TRUFRESH, L.L.C., the owner of a seafood plant in Maine that imports frozen seafood and acts as a consultant to plants processing seafood throughout the world. He has been extensively involved in a sea urchin and scallop research hatchery. He is active on many Boards and civic organizations and is currently Chair of the Eastport City Council. Captain Peacoc''s father, Robert S. Peacock, graduated from Maine Maritime Academy in 1945, and his daughter, Ansley Peacock, graduated from the college in 2007.
With the same-day election of MMA alumnus Robert Somerville, Houston, Texas, to the post of vice-chair of the Board, the college's Trustees are now lead by the first alumni team in the history of the Academy. Somerville, a 1965 graduate of MMA, is Chairman of ABS and the ABS Group of Companies, a leading international ship classification society. Trustee John F. "Dugan" Shipway, Bath, Maine, joins the Board's executive team as treasurer. Shipway, a retired U.S. Navy rear admiral, is a former president of General Dynamics Bath Iron Works. J. Annette Dixon, executive assistant to the president of MMA, continues to serve as secretary to the Board.
"Considering the professional stature and the depth of experience of the members of the college's Board of Trustees, I find their selection of this alumni leadership team to be a testament to the outstanding quality of our graduates," said Dr. William J. Brennan, president of Maine Maritime Academy.
The Honorable W. Tom Sawyer, Jr., Dedham, Maine, recently returned to service on the Board of Trustees. Appointed to the position by Maine Governor Paul LePage earlier this year, Sawyer holds the title of MMA trustee emeritus in recognition of his previous extensive service on the Board. Sawyer has enjoyed a successful career directing his family-owned waste management and recycling business. Active in public service, Sawyer has served terms on the Bangor City Council, as Mayor of Bangor, and as a Maine State Senator.