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Harpswell Men 1st Grads from The Boat School – Husson University - 12/19/2008
Harpswell Men 1st Grads from The Boat School – Husson University
It was a big celebration for only two mid-year graduates at The Boat School-Husson University on Friday, December 19th. Though small in number for those graduating the event was significant and a true milestone in the 40 year history of the School. Josh Morse and Dan Perry, both of Harpswell are the first graduates of the school under the Husson University Flag. Nearly 100 guests attended the event. The crowd of well wishers included students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, friends and Husson University officials.

“We at The Boat School have come to understand that these two fine young men from Harpswell both personify the best qualities of Maine people, said Maine Senator Kevin Raye, Director of University Affairs for Husson. “Like those who have practiced the craft of boat building over the course of our state’s long and proud seafaring history, Dan and Josh have proven themselves to be hard working, honest, trustworthy and talented. In short, they are ideally suited, and now well-trained, to carry on the tradition of the Maine boat builder – a special breed with a can do spirit.”

Husson took over the delivery of programs at the Eastport campus 16 months ago. Since its founding in 1969, The Boat School was administered as a campus of what is now known as the Maine Community College System. With the start of fall classes August 29, 2007 students have been part of Husson University.

“The Boat School is the best thing I have ever done in my life,” says Josh Morse. “With my education from the Boat School and I am confident that I have the skills for a great career for the rest of my life… right here in Maine.”

Both Dan and Josh were recipients of additional awards at the graduation that reflect the best of students throughout the history of America’s oldest boat building school. Dan Perry received the Otto “Jr.” Miller Award. It is presented to the student that has gone through extreme adversity to achieve success in the Boat Building Program. Josh Morse received the Calvin Elwell Award which is a celebration of the life, learning and perseverance of a 1985 Boat School Graduate who has passed from this life but is remembered with fondness and deep respect. This Award is given each year to a student who has achieved extraordinary accomplishments in Drafting. It is not an award necessarily for the highest grade… but to the student that has exceeded their own expectations & goals.

Following the graduation ceremony and the luncheon prepared by the people of Eastport the entire group made their way to the waterfront pier on the Eastport Campus to carry on a tradition started 40 years ago. Though not a requirement for graduation, every class has had a boat that they have built to launch as part of the graduation ceremony. The name of the newly launched Downeast Dinghy is “DID IT.” “Josh and Dan have worked diligently to produce the first infused boat at The Boat School,” says Composites Instructor Pat Owen. “This dynamic duo has come in early and left late, working around other Boat School projects and classes to have a boat that they can call their own. In doing so they are able to carry on the 40 year old tradition of having a boat to launch at graduation.”

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