About Us

Our organization was formed in 1994 by six Maritime College graduates who wanted to help improve the education possibilities for young African American and minority students. The founding members are Mark Bodden, Robert Cook, Dave Holman, Joe Lewis, Howard Wyche and Eugene Monroe from the Bahamas. They laid the foundation for the current Board of Directors, who carry on the organization’s founding mission, “To assist and encourage by educating and increasing public awareness regarding minority involvement in the maritime industry through recruitment, mentoring, scholarships, and fundraising.”

One year later, in 1995, the first of over 70 scholarships were presented. The scholarships are awarded for academic achievement, leadership and financial need and epitomize the organization’s founding mission. We honor the sacrifices and meritorious contributions of those individuals who have supported and fostered minority involvement in the maritime profession by awarding scholarships in their name. Our academic award is named in honor of the first African American graduate of Maritime College, Carl F. Burnett, Class of 1950. Mr. Burnett was an honorary board member and an ardent supporter of the OBMG before his passing.

The scholarships are awarded every year at the Black History Month Dinner, hosted by the Cultural Club at Maritime College, on the last Thursday in February. The dinner has been the forum for many motivational and inspirational keynote speakers. It has been our goal to educate those in attendance about African American history and the Maritime Industry.  The evening is free to attend and is always entertaining and stimulating.

In 2005, we incorporated in New York and received our status as a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization. All administrative costs are absorbed by the members so every dollar donated goes entirely to the scholarships.

A Gala is planned in 2010 to celebrate the organization and raise much needed funds for scholarships. Remember, all donations are tax deductible. Add yourself to our mailing list and continue to check the web site for developing details.

Our members and supporters represent a broad spectrum of professions and affiliations. For 15 years we have labored to keep the organization on a steady course. We continue to mentor, provide scholarships for students and give guidance and support through networking after graduation.

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. We 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 in the lives of many deserving students.


Robert K. Cook

OBMG President

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