Maine Maritime Academy President Leonard Tyler announced that The Honorable John S. McCain, United States Senate, R-Arizona will address the graduating class at the college’s 62nd Commencement on Saturday, April 30, 2005. He will receive an honorary doctorate from the college.
“Senator McCain’s record of service to his country, first as a U.S. Naval officer and later as a respected political leader, is one which exemplifies the time-honored values of honor, duty, and community service which are at the core of leadership development at Maine Maritime,” said Tyler. “The comment of this dynamic leader - one of example and action - is a very fitting culmination of our unique approach to personal growth.”
A 1958 graduate of the US Naval Academy and a Naval aviator, Senator McCain is widely recognized for his military valor. A survivor of the 1967 USS Forrestal disaster, the worst non-combat related accident in American Naval history, he went on to continue missions in North Vietnam. After his plane was shot down, he was held as a Prisoner of War and repeatedly refused offers of early release citing code of conduct that prisoners of war should be released in the order in which they were captured. As the son of Admiral Jack McCain, commander of all U.S. Naval forces in the Pacific at the time, his captors demanded he accept their offer. His refusal was met with violent punishment.
McCain later served as the Navy’s liaison to the US Senate. Following his military career, he ran for a seat in the US House of Representatives and was elected to the post in 1982. In 1986, Barry Goldwater announced his retirement from the US Senate. McCain was elected to succeed him. He began serving his fourth term in January 2005.