Fact Sheet

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Sponsor Program

The Plebe Sponsorship program is designed to pair 4th Class Midshipmen with members of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy community. The programs allows Midshipmen time to take a break from everyday regimental environment with someone who will listen to them and provide support.  Rigorous Academy standards can tax even the best of spirits, producing feelings of stress, loneliness, homesickness, and doubt.  

As a Midshipman sponsor, you will be able to provide Midshipmen with a support network during their first year at the Academy. This network will assist them in facing academic, athletic, and regimental challenges. As a sponsor you serve as the Midshipman's friend and advisor, providing a caring environment for relaxation away from the pressures of the academy.

How Often Can a Midshipmen Leave Campus?

Midshipmen may leave campus based on their classification in the Midshipman Regulations.  Typically as a sponsor, you may take a Plebe out for a dinner liberty monthly. Overnight liberties and long weekends are not typically authorized until acceptance weekend.  (Please note, if you feel you may be located too far from campus for a dinner liberty, you may not want to sign up for the program). Additionally, you may visit your Plebe on campus for dinner, a Friday Night Movie in Ackerman (7:30PM weekly) or on weekends.  As a Midshipman progresses through their Academy career, the amount of time they may spend off campus increases.

What Should a Sponsor do with a Midshipman?

When a Midshipmen feels like you care about them, the small things go a long way.  Most people will take a Midshipman out to dinner.  Other suggestions include: going out for ice-cream, going to the gym, the theatre, a museum, church, shopping, laser tag, bowling, etc.  You may also find that allowing the Midshipman to come to your house and relax on the couch or play with your pet to be enough. You should definitely check in with your Midshipman either in person, via Facebook or email.  Just letting them know you are there is a big help.

What should a Sponsor avoid doing with a Midshipman?

Midshipmen do not get much time off campus, unless agreed upon, do not engage in activities that are not of interest to the Midshipman.  Example: If a midshipman is not interested in knitting a sweater, playing checkers, or washing your dog, then do not ask them to do that thing!

 

For Potential Sponsors

I have been a Sponsor before and my Midshipman did Not Reach Out Often or at All. What do I do?

With all of the activities, sports, and academics presented to the Midshipmen, sometimes they get busy.  While it is very disrespectful for a Plebe to commit to a program and then not follow through, it happens. Reach out to them via email and let them know that you are there for them, but if they do not wish to participate to let the Office of Student Activities know. If placement is still needed, you can be assigned an alternate student. Sometimes, students don't realize the value of the program until a later year at the Academy.

I am sold! What are the Criteria to Participate as a sponsor? 

You may participate as a sponsor if you meet the following criteria and live within 40 miles from the Academy:
  • Active/Retired/Reserve officer in the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Alumnus of a federal service academy
  • Staff or faculty member of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
  • Parents of a former Midshipmen.
  • Parents of a current Midshipmen (You may request your son/daughter but you must take at least two others)
  • Obtain special approval from the Commandant of Midshipmen

How Do I Sign Up to be a Sponsor?

Potential sponsors may sign up by clicking on this link and completing the application.

 

For Midshipmen:

What is the Criteria to being sponsored?

While sponsors are generally assigned early in the Plebe experience, some students may still ask as an upper classman. 

I am a Plebe Candidate and I Would Like to Request a Sponsor!

Plebe/Plebe Candidates can request a sponsor by clicking this link and completing the google application.

 

Class of 2020 Plebe/Sponsor Meet and Greet and Kick Off Ice Cream Social will be held at Melville Hall on Wednesday, August 24 at 7PM.

All participating Midshipmen and Sponsors/Sponsor Families are encouraged to attend!


Your Story

Many relationships last a lifetime. Please send in photos, quotes, and stories about the plebe sponsorship experience and your story might help foster a friendship that will continue for many years to come!
 
 
 
     
Updated: Friday, July 29, 2016
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