Our History

The OBMG was formed in 1994 by 6 Maritime College graduates who wanted to help improve the education possibilities for African American and minority students at SUNY Maritime College. This is accomplished by providing scholarship opportunities, financial assistance, mentoring, networking and more.
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Mission Statement

To assist and encourage by educating and increasing public awareness regarding minority involvement in the maritime industry through recruitment, mentoring, scholarships, and fundraising.
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Dues or Donations

The OBMG is a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization. All donations are tax deductible and go entirely to the scholarships as the members absorb all administrative costs. Each and every donation has a direct impact on the future of deserving students.

President's Message

My vision over two decades ago, along with my fellow Founders, was to provide support for minority students in an industry that is challenging to navigate and advance in, for minorities in particular.

We have met that challenge by awarding over 130 scholarships. During the 2008 financial crisis many of our young scholars found themselves without financial support. We increased our commitment by awarding more scholarships and higher awards. We have educated about and honored them meritorious contributions of minorities in the maritime field and mentored young professionals after graduation.

An education at SUNY Maritime College is one of the best educations that any student can acquire. It is scholarly, technical and practical. The OBMG has followed a course that has supported and engaged the young scholars to challenge themselves to be the very best that they can be. The students we support are ready to assume professional careers upon graduation. We are proud that the young professionals that we assist are making positive social and economic contributions to our communities and the nation.

“Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource” John F. Kennedy

I salute the exemplary service that the Board of Directors, our members and partners have provided to the OBMG and the maritime community. They continue to make sacrifices of their time, energy and finances. They are excellent role models and epitomize our founding mission, “To assist and encourage”. We are grateful for the sacrifices and investment and know that the return on this investment is excellent.

“We have an obligation and a responsibility to be investing in our students and our schools, we must make sure that people who have the grades and the desire, and the will, but not the money, can still get the best education possible” Barak Obama

As we move forward on the course set by the OBMG Founders, our goal is to increase awareness of the rich and meritorious contributions of minorities in maritime history, recruit minorities for careers in the maritime and marine industries, continue to mentor and support minority students in maritime and marine studies and build a strong network for minority maritime professionals, both ashore and afloat.

Everyone should make a social investment in our collective future. If we don’t show unselfish concern for the welfare of others then we will always be guided by mediocrity. I ask that you think carefully and consider giving in some unselfish way. No one succeeds independently.

I am thankful for all that we have been able to accomplish. There is so much more to do. Join us and with your help we can continue to make a difference.

Many Drops Make Mighty Oceans


Captain Robert K. Cook

OBMG President


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