"I work in a very diverse industry at its core," said Lutoff-Perlo. "Our ships' crews comes from more than 70 countries. They come onto the ships as strangers and quickly become family, taking care of each other and our guests. No matter their background, geography, religion, sexual identity, or gender. The world could learn a lot from them as an example."
In all, 263 undergraduates and 14 graduates of the Master's Program in Transportation and Engineering Management crossed the stage. The military commissioning for 10 students who entered as ensigns into the U.S. Navy or the U.S. Navy Reserve was held in the morning.
Lutoff-Perlo is the first woman to run a consolidated corporate maritime organization in the cruise industry. She has played a key leadership role in the launch of multiple, next-generation cruise ships including Celebrity's lauded Solstice Class.
Under her leadership, Celebrity has received awards for exemplary service, best premium cruise company, best in category, most LGBT friendly, travel company of the year, best value, responsible tourism and corporate responsibility from a wide variety of industry and lifestyle organizations.
Lutoff-Perlo has challenged and changed the conversation around cultural and gender equality in the maritime industry. She has ignited initiatives to significantly raise the percentage of female officers on the bridge and throughout the brand, including hiring the first female American captain, Cal Maritime alumna Kate McCue, who was also in attendance at the Saturday ceremony. Lutoff-Perlo has also hired the first female African bridge officer and the first female Ecuadorian captain. Celebrity currently has four female captains and five female hotel directors in the fleet.