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Londonderry midshipman earns top academic honor at Naval Academy

Union Leader Correspondent

May 30. 2017 9:04PM

LONDONDERRY — Dedicated to his country and his education, Ethan Doherty of Londonderry finished at the top of his class at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Doherty was valedictorian of the Class of 2017 at the academy, and was handed his diploma by Vice President Mike Pence during Friday’s graduation ceremony at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md.

The achievement came four years after Doherty was valedictorian of the Class of 2013 at Londonderry High School.

According to information provided by the academy, Doherty was a systems engineering major, graduating with distinct honors and receiving his commission as an ensign.

“Ethan was the ideal student and an absolute pleasure to work with,” said Capt. Michael Hurni, one of Doherty’s advisers.

Not only was Doherty the class valedictorian with a 4.0 grade-point average, but he was also a varsity athlete with the academy’s offshore sailing team. According to the school’s website, Doherty grew up sailing on his grandparents’ 36-foot Pearson cutter along the coast and lakes of New Hampshire.

Doherty was one of a select few 2017 Trident Scholars described as exceptional midshipmen selected to participate in independent study and research projects during their senior year.

“The progress he made every week was amazing, and his ability to work independently was outstanding,” Hurni said. “His understanding of the theory and engineering concepts made it a joy to work with him.”

According to Hurni, Doherty’s research focused on reduced identifiability of unmanned surface vessels used in intelligence and reconnaissance.

Doherty was one of 1,053 graduates in the USNA Class of 2017, and one of 106 members of the class to graduate with distinct honors, which take into account academics, military performance, conduct and physical education, according to a release.

Doherty, who was also class president at Londonderry High School, could not be reached to comment on his most recent achievement.

Doherty, 21, is the son of Joe and Rebecca Doherty of Londonderry.

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