In celebration of its 25th anniversary of providing service to Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and Micronesia, Matson announced yesterday a new scholarship fund to help students in the region pursue higher education. The more than $60,000 fund will be distributed over the next five years through colleges and universities in Guam, the CNMI, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau.
“Matson believes in supporting education and giving back to the communities that have supported us for the past 25 years. We are excited to be able to provide these new opportunities for students throughout Micronesia,” said Bernie Valencia, vice president and general manager for Guam and Micronesia.
Valencia noted that the company will be developing additional projects throughout the year in celebration of its 25thanniversary. “In the spirit of education, we’d like to partner with industry stakeholders to introduce high school students throughout Micronesia to potential careers in the maritime industry,” she added.
Matson has been serving the Pacific since 1882 and launched operations in Guam and Micronesia in 1996, and pioneered refrigerated cargo to the Pacific.
In 2016, Matson celebrated 20 years of service to Guam and Micronesia by paying tribute to Micronesia’s grand master navigator Pius “Mau” Piailug by naming a vessel in Guam and Micronesia M/V Papa Mau. Additionally, the company commemorated 20 years in Micronesia through its major sponsorship of the 2016 Festival of Pacific Arts.
As part of the company’s latest fleet modernization, Matson commissioned four newly- built state-of-the-art vessels to replace seven smaller ships, all four of which are the largest ships of their kind ever built in the U.S. Two of the vessels now serve Guam—the Aloha class containerships Daniel K. Inouye, which entered service in 2018 and Kaimana Hila, which entered service in 2019. The other two vessels, Lurline and Matsonia, support West Coast originating cargo destined for Guam and Micronesia via transshipment in Hawaii.
25 years of commitment
Matson operates weekly service to Guam from the U.S. West Coast and Honolulu with connecting service to the CNMI, Yap, Palau, Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Majuro, Ebeye, Kwajalein, and since 2017, Okinawa. Valencia noted that operations for its Okinawa service are also managed out of Guam.
“As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we also recognize that it comes at a time when we are emerging from a very difficult year. We want our communities in Guam, the Northern Marianas, and throughout Micronesia to know that Matson remains committed to supporting the region through its recovery the best way we know how—by providing dependable shipping, exemplary customer service, and supporting our communities in meaningful ways,” she said. “We are thankful for the privilege of having served our customers in the region for the past 25 years want them to know that they can count on Matson to be here for them for the next 25 years and beyond.” (PR)