On Saturday, May 31, students from IYRS’ three accredited programs will graduate from their respective Schools of Technology and Trade, and the students from the Boatbuilding and Restoration Program will launch their boats. For both Newport and the school, graduation has become a community celebration, attracting hundreds of supporters, admirers, community leaders, and industry partners.
International yachtsman, Dr. Robert McNeil, who owns and is, funding the restoration of Coronet on the IYRS campus, will speak at the ceremonies. McNeil is a bio-tech venture capitalist from San Mateo, CA and a Managing Director of Sanderling Ventures. He has a long history in yachting, including funding the Zephyrus maxi racing campaign. Prior to taking on the $15mm Coronet restoration, he funded the restoration of Cangarda, the 126’ steel hull steam yacht at the Rutherford Boatyard in Richmond, CA. Cangarda has been a regular visitor to Newport and the IYRS marina.
Through both restorations, McNeil has taken special action to document these projects, including with major cable network partners and film-makers. He will share some aspirational stories and his own thoughts about IYRS and the school’s graduates, as well as the importance of saving America’s on-water treasurers for future generations.
The public is welcome to join the ceremony and launching festivities and see the fine craftsmanship produced by students. Graduation ceremonies begin at the IYRS Newport campus (449 Thames Street) at 10:00 am inside Restoration Hall. After the speaking and certificate award program, the crowd is invited to the school docks to watch the launching of the newly restored boats.
Graduates from IYRS’ Composites Technology and Marine Systems programs, who matriculated from their six-month programs in September 2013 and March 2014, will also be honored on May 31. Eighty-five percent of the graduates from these programs are now working.
The annual Museum of Yachting summer exhibit will also open that Saturday. The combined museum and school libraries are located on the fourth floor of the Aquidneck Mill building on the IYRS Newport campus. The exhibit will feature artifacts and relics of the great schooner yacht Coronet. The library is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, Noon to 5:00 PM; the exhibit is open through September 2014.