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American Merchant Marine Museum Honors Founder, Capt. Charles M. Renick ’47

KINGS POINT, N.Y., June 6, 2016 – The American Merchant Marine Museum at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point honored its founder, Capt. Charles M. Renick ’47, with a formal presentation of a portrait on the evening of May 20.

The portrait was unveiled to the public in a ceremony at the museum with Charles Renick and members of his family. His daughter Tina Sobel and son Peter Renick, who recently retired as the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation for the Great Neck Park District, spoke about their experiences with their father.

The portrait, realized by Michael Mate of Colorado in acrylic on canvas, depicts Charles Renick in the uniform he wore during his many years of service at the Academy. The Friends of the American Merchant Marine Museum, Inc., a 501 (C) 3 organization dedicated to supporting that institution, donated the portrait to USMMA earlier this year.

A native of West Virginia, Charles Renick graduated from the Academy in 1947. During his “Sea Year” he sailed in convoys during World War II.  After graduating, he sailed on commercial vessels, worked in the office of the Secretary of the Department of State, as well as serving on both active and reserve duty with the United States Navy, retiring after thirty years with the rank of Captain, USNR.  Charles Renick attended Georgetown University and obtained a master’s degree in education from C.W. Post College.

In 1961, he joined the staff of the Academy, where he served in a variety of positions, including Alumni Director (1961-1974); Director of External Affairs (1974-1989); and Deputy Chief Of Staff (1989-1997). In 1979, he was instrumental in founding the American Merchant Marine Museum. He served as the Museum’s executive director for many years, and to this day holds the honorary position of director emeritus.

It is for his work as the founder of this Museum that he was honored with this portrait, which is on permanent display in the foyer as a tribute to his vision and dedication in educating the public and midshipmen in the glorious history of the American merchant marine.

Charles Renick has been active in community affairs. He was honored as the Grand Marshall of the 1992 Great Neck Memorial Day Parade, was selected as the Man of the Year in 1991 by the Great Neck Business Association, and for a time chaired the Career Development Committee of the Great Neck Board of Education. He is also an elder in the North Shore Presbyterian Church.

The event also marked the opening of a new exhibit at the American Merchant Marine Museum, entitled “How to Abandon Ship: The Sinking of the SS Robin Moor, 1941.” The Museum is located on the grounds of the Academy in Kings Point, NY. Admission is free, and it is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. It is closed during USMMA holidays and the month of July. It is highly recommended that you call (516) 726-6047 or e-mail museum@usmma.edu before visiting.

By Joshua M. Smith, Ph.D.

Updated: Monday, June 6, 2016
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