CSU Maritime Academy 

Alumni Association

2012 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

Werner
During Commencement for the Class of 2012, Class of 1963 alumnus Captain Norm Werner was honored as the 2012 Distinguished Alumni, an award that was established to recognize and honor graduates who have exemplified the mission of Cal Maritime by distinguishing themselves through their outstanding personal or professional accomplishments. To honor his accomplishments, Werner’s name will be posted on a plaque beside his fellow Distinguished Alumni in theAlumni Plaza outside the Simulation Center on campus.

Werner has distinguished himself as a true maritime professional during his illustrious career as a licensed merchant marine officer, vessel captain, and ship pilot. He attained his Unlimited Master’s License just five years after graduating from The California Maritime Academy — making him one of the youngest captains sailing in the American Merchant Marine at that time. He sailed extensively aboard American-flag ships along various trade routes around the world.
Werner went on to become a very talented and respected ship pilot for 40 years — serving in three different and challenging locations. He spent 22 years in the Panama Canal, six years in Grays Harbor, WA, and 12 years in Puget Sound, WA, all of which require unique expertise, extensive knowledge,continuous creativity, remarkable ship-handling skills, and ongoing intuition to ensure the successful and safe movement of large ships in restricted waterways.

At one point in his early career, Captain Werner was chosen to be the first merchant marine officer to be trained in Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD — working under the direction and training of the very scientist who discovered GPS. He was also granted top secret clearance by the Navy during this period, since GPS was highly classified at the time and designated for “military use only.” Through his research work with GPS, this unique electronic navigation “tool” eventually was opened up for commercial use — and today it is the main means for vessels to navigate their way across the seas.

While living and working in Panama, Captain Werner was elected president of the Panama Canal Pilots Association — a very prestigious and influential post — at the time legislation for the Panama Canal Treaty was being formulated in Washington. He traveled from Panama to Washington D.C. on numerous occasions, representing the people who operated the canal and the pilots that moved the ships there. As a result of his meetings and testimonies beforeCongress, Captain Werner helped to facilitate the smooth and professional transition of the canal from U.S. control over to Panamanian control.

Since retiring in 2010, Captain Werner has focused attention and support toBallard High School in Seattle, from which he graduated in 1957. He was recently elected to Ballard High School’s Hall of Fame. He has also been a strong alumni supporter for Cal Maritime. 

 

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Did You Know?

Did you know that the U.S. Department of Education recently released findings that show Cal Maritime graduates have the highest average earnings of any California university ten years after enrollment and they have the seventh highest in the U.S.?

 

Did you know that the U.S. Department of Education recently released findings that show Cal Maritime graduates have the highest average earnings of any California university ten years after enrollment and they have the seventh highest in the U.S.?
 

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