FRIENDS OF QUARTERDECK
With the next school year rapidly approaching, now is a final time to reflect on the past year. While many things had to be handled very differently than years prior, one factor that remained the same is the contributions from you and others like yourself in supporting our organization.
For that unselfishness and for your contribution past, present, or future, I would like to say from myself and moreover, from the Quarterdeck Society as a whole: Thank You!
During the previous school year, my fellow officers and I had to work diligently and creatively to find ways to uphold the traditions and culture of the Quarterdeck Society, whilst also finding new ways to help our students connect. We shifted from our usual in-person company visits to weekly meetings with industry representatives via Zoom. From typical social events such as Whirlyball and dinner to movie nights and even a chess tournament presented in virtual fashion. We even traded our communal meals at the NAME building for door dash gift cards to safely feed all our members in some instances. Many events and opportunities which Quarterdeck participates in had to make similar adjustments.
The annual SNAME convention which was to be held in Houston, Texas was one such event, which transitioned to a virtual format for 2020. This change prevented us from traveling to attend, but our students still maximized what they took from this opportunity. More students than any years prior were able to participate in some part of the conference, due to its new format and because of that; quite a few events Michigan students made their mark.
In the student design competition of the virtual conference, students were challenged to make an optimized boat from household materials and record themselves testing it. Ultimately, two of the four winning teams were students from our department. That just goes to show that our department is still grooming some of the most promising and outgoing engineers going into the maritime world in the future.
Another heavily anticipated event this year was the SeaPerch Competition, a voluntary service opportunity with middle and high school underwater ROV teams. We served as virtual judges reviewing video submissions, online mentors, and even graders reviewing design papers. I am extremely proud of our members and the department for “rolling with the punches” in that situation and still managing to get involved in supporting our external community.
Though most of these adaptations were not easy, credit goes towards the leaders in our department that helped make them happen, and even more credit is due to you. We would not have had the opportunity to make these transitions if not for the continued support of our alumni, friends, and family and that does not go unnoticed.
Moving on, we hope to get right back to “business as usual” starting with the SNAME convention in Providence, Rhode Island this coming October then continuing on to other in-person events as well such as the Great Lakes Great Rivers Conference and the annual Ship Trip. These events and opportunities are just a few that we hope you will continue to support us in however possible.
If you are able to make any donations or contributions at the Quarterdeck Contributions Website, they are greatly appreciated. Any amount goes a long way in helping the students of Quarterdeck and members of our community in getting back to our sense of normalcy, and also in maintaining some of the new traditions we have developed. As stated before, but never said enough, Thank You and Go Blue!