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History & Mission


MM&P had its origins in a tragic fire that broke out aboard the side paddle-wheeler Seawanhaka on June 28, 1880, following a boiler room explosion that took place as the vessel transited New York Harbor. As the flames spread rapidly through the wooden-hulled ship, Captain Charles P. Smith stayed at the helm, suffering severe burns as he maneuvered to the shallow waters off Hell Gate, a narrow tidal strait in the East River, where the passengers could safely escape. Although Captain Smith was ultimately recognized for heroism, he was first made a scapegoat by local politicians. “Eventually he was cleared of any wrongdoing,” wrote Frank O. Braynard, maritime historian and curator of the American Merchant Marine Museum at Kings Point, “but the treatment he received so outraged his colleagues, other pilots and captains, that they formed a committee. That committee was the genesis of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots.”

Officers on the bridge of the ship

The Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) exist:

  • To enhance the professionalism of mariners through the development of quality maritime leadership, training, education, and safety programs.

The Maritime Conference Center at BWI (MCCBWI) exists:

  • To provide the most productive and efficient adult education and meeting environment in the greater Baltimore-Washington area.
  • Combine the strengths of the academic and conference operations to provide exemplary service to our students, stakeholders, and the maritime industry.
  • Offer our expertise to assist clients in meeting the challenges of the ever-changing business environment.
  • Foster a “can do” organizational culture that is based on merit, positive employee/management relationships, and diversity.
  • Customer Focus – Dedicated to meeting the expectations and requirements of stakeholders. Acts with the customer in mind to establish/maintain an effective relationship and trust.
  • Integrity and Trust – Recognized as an individual who can provide the unvarnished truth in an appropriate and helpful manner.
  • Functional/Technical Skills – Has the knowledge and skills to do the job at a high level of performance.
  • Self Development – Adapts to change and is personally committed to personal growth. Understands that different situations may call for different skills and approaches. Deploys strengths and works to compensate for weaknesses and limits.
  • Action Oriented – Strong work ethic, willing to seize opportunities and act to add value to the organization.