New York Military Academy

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New York Military Academy
File:NYMA Round Crest.jpg
Toujours Prêt
Always Ready
78 Academy Ave
Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY 12520
Type Private, boarding school
Established 1889
Founder Charles Jefferson Wright
CEEB Code 331-515[1]
President Anthony Desa
Commandant & Senior Army Instructor MSG (Ret.) Fletcher Bailey
Grades 812
Gender Coeducational
Campus size 121 acres (49 ha)
51 buildings
Campus type Rural
Color(s) Maroon
Slogan Inspired, Engaged, and Ready
Athletics 22 interscholastic sports
Athletics conference NEPSACHVAL
Mascot Knights
Accreditation MSA[1][2]
Tuition $37,190 (local, boarding)
$14,990 (day)
$43,340 (international)
Affiliations AMCSUS

New York Military Academy (NYMA) is a private boarding school in the rural village of Cornwall-on-Hudson, 60 miles (97 km) north of New York City, and one of the oldest military schools in the United States. Originally a boys' school, it became coeducational in 1975. On March 3, 2015, NYMA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, facing serious financial difficulties from low enrollment. Instead of opening for the fall semester in September 2015, NYMA closed and was auctioned to a group of Chinese investors who reopened the school in November.


NYMA has a long history as a university-preparatory school with a military structure that enrolls students from the New York metropolitan area as well as around the country and the world.

NYMA was founded in 1889 by Charles Jefferson Wright, an American Civil War veteran and former schoolteacher from New Hampshire who believed that a military structure provided the best environment for academic achievement, a philosophy to which the school still adheres. Wright's successor, Sebastian Jones, presided over the academy from 1894 to 1922, guiding it during its most critical period of growth from a young and small institution of 48 cadets, through a disastrous fire in 1910, and throughout an extensive reconstruction program.[3]

It previously admitted students in fifth grade but later only accepted students from the eighth grade.

NYMA is one of the oldest and best-known military schools in the United States.[citation needed] Over time, the campus expanded from 30 acres (12 ha) to a peak of 550 acres (220 ha), and enrollment peaked at 525 students during the 1960s. Girls have been admitted since 1975. NYMA is a member of the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States as well as several other school associations.

Financial difficulties

Due to financial problems and enrollment that had dwindled to 145 students, the school was scheduled to close in June 2010.[4][5] However, a group of alumni and local businesspeople created a plan to save the school, raising almost $6 million of financing in a matter of weeks, and expecting to sell off some less-utilized portions of the campus.[6][7] Under newer board leadership, the vision for NYMA's future held that the academy would be a "best practice" school, providing 21st-century educational programs for intentional learners, in a student-centered constructivist environment that served the developmental learning needs and service-related aspirations of each individual cadet.

As of March 3, 2015, however, NYMA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[8][9] Court documents stated that NYMA's debts (over $10 million) and recent very low enrollment numbers (under 100 cadets) were key motivating factors in the decision.[10] In response to the bankruptcy proceedings and issues related to the availability of payroll funds, NYMA closed to all cadets from March 16 to March 18, 2015.[11] NYMA soon reopened but announced on April 2 that future extracurricular activities for students, including those involving graduation, would be limited or cancelled. At an April 11 meeting, alumni pledged major increases in funding and enrollment to sustain NYMA, much as they had five years prior.[12]

The academy failed to open in September 2015 for the fall semester, and instead headed to bankruptcy auction.[13] On September 30, NYMA was auctioned for $15.825 million to a group of Chinese investors, who reopened the school on November 2 with "a handful of returning students" and a recruitment drive.[14][15]


NYMA Main Gate (2006 photo)

The school is located in the town of Cornwall, New York, and uses the mailing address of the village Cornwall-on-Hudson despite being just outside its official boundary.[16] Geographically, the academy is in the Hudson Highlands, at the foot of Storm King Mountain, just west of the Hudson River and 6 miles (10 km) north of West Point. NYMA is approximately 60 miles (97 km) north of New York City, or about one hour by car. This places NYMA in the Mid-Hudson region of the Hudson Valley, which is accessible by airplane (KSWF, KEWR, KLGA, KJFK, KALB) as well as train (Amtrak and Metro-North), bus, and automobile.

Student life

NYMA strives to provide its students with a structured environment, placing an emphasis on leadership development. Although recently 80% of the Corps of Cadets has come from the Tri-State area (NY, NJ, CT), there has been a large and growing mix of international students who enjoy the local activities that Cornwall-on-Hudson and the region can offer.

The days at NYMA typically begin at 6:00 am and end at 10:00 pm. Cadets attend grade-specific classes during that time and also participate in organized or intramural sports, activities, and study hall. During closed weekends, cadets are expected to attend additional leadership training, drill & ceremony, and maintain the appearance of their respective barracks. Upon gaining the opportunity for an open weekend, cadets in good academic standing can apply for weekend furlough.[17] Along with Academics, Athletics, and Leadership, the fourth "pillar" of cadet life is Character, reinforced continually by the Cadet Honor Code that NYMA shares with West Point.[18]


Cadets on parade (2004 photo)

The structure of the Corps of Cadets is adjusted depending on the number of students enrolled at the academy. As a military school, the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) is a key component, and participation is required to graduate.[1] The battalion has typically consisted of:

  • Command Staff
  • Band Company
  • Line Companies: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Foxtrot and Golf
  • Delta troop or "D-troop": a cavalry unit drawn from the equestrian program

At one time, the Corps of Cadets consisted of two battalions organized into a brigade.[citation needed]


NYMA has competed in Football, Basketball, Baseball, Soccer, Lacrosse, Rugby, Swimming, Softball, Track & Field, Volleyball, Cross-Country, Wrestling, Tennis, Rifle Team, Golf, Drill Team, and Raiders. Every cadet is generally required to compete year-round.[19] The school's mascot is the Knight. Teams have competed in the Hudson Valley Athletic League, a member league of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC).


In earlier decades, NYMA's official regulations permitted a certain level of hazing and physical discipline by supervisors and older cadets, though the academy's senior administrators were forced to resign after a particularly severe incident in 1964.[20][21][22] While hazing later became forbidden by the school's rules and policies, a lawsuit was settled in which it had been claimed that physical and emotional abuse in the form of hazing had taken place in 2005.[23] NYMA cited adverse publicity from the 2005 incident as one of the reasons the school nearly closed in 2010.[24]

Notable alumni

Major buildings

NYMA Academic Building (c.1916 postcard)
  • Academic Building
  • Davis Chapel (contains the second-largest theater pipe organ in New York State, custom-built by M.P. Moller in 1927)[25]
  • Jones Barracks
  • Booth Library
  • Scarborough Hall
  • Pattillo Hall
  • Riley (formerly Dingley) Hall
  • Dickinson Hall
  • Alumni Gym and Pool


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 NYMA Profile 2014–2015
  2. 2.0 2.1 Accreditation and Affiliations
  3. "History". NYMA. Retrieved July 26, 2014. 
  4. Applebome, Peter (May 5, 2010). "Changing Times and Money Woes Doom a Military School". New York Times. Retrieved July 26, 2014. 
  5. Randall, Michael (April 23, 2010). "NYMA can't muster money to continue". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved July 26, 2014. 
  6. Brooks, Paul (July 5, 2010). "Alumni, investors ride to New York Military Academy's rescue". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved July 26, 2014. 
  7. "NYMA lays out plans for development". December 8, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2014. 
  8. "New York Military Academy – Court Proceedings". PacerMonitor. March 3, 2015. Retrieved April 2, 2015. 
  9. Rochelle, Bill; Toub, Sherri (March 4, 2015). "New York Military Academy Files Chapter 11 in Poughkeepsie". Bloomberg News. Retrieved August 4, 2015. 
  10. Randall, Michael (March 4, 2015). "NYMA Seeks Bankruptcy Protection". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved April 2, 2015. 
  11. Randall, Michael (March 16, 2015). "NYMA Closing for Three Days Due to Bankruptcy Filing". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved April 2, 2015. 
  12. Desa, Anthony (April 14, 2015). "Alumni Meeting Update" (PDF). NYMA. Retrieved April 20, 2015. 
  13. Berger, Joseph (September 20, 2015). "New York Military Academy’s Sudden Closing, After 126 Years". The New York Times. Retrieved September 21, 2015. 
  14. Berger, Joseph (September 30, 2015). "New York Military Academy to Reopen Under New Owners". New York Times. Retrieved October 23, 2015. 
  15. Levensohn, Michael (October 30, 2015). "Sale complete, NYMA to reopen Monday". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved October 31, 2015. 
  16. Randall, Michael (May 14, 2010). "Village might annex NYMA". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved July 26, 2014. 
  17. "Privileges". NYMA. October 29, 2013. Retrieved July 26, 2014. 
  18. "Mission". NYMA. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  19. "Athletics". NYMA. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  20. McIntosh, Sandy (October 5, 2015). "Culture of Hazing: Donald Trump, Me, & The End Of New York Military Academy". Long Island Press. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  21. Dougherty, Philip H. (March 3, 1964). "'Discipline With a Capital D' Is Watchword for Cadets at New York Military Academy". The New York Times. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  22. "Head of Academy Resigns". The New York Times. March 8, 1964. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  23. Randall, Michael (March 23, 2005). "Alleged stabber to back cadet's NYMA hazing claim". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved July 26, 2014. 
  24. "Alleged hazing incident was factor in closing of NYMA". Mid-Hudson News. April 29, 2010. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  25. "New York Military Academy". New York Theatre Organ Society. Retrieved November 1, 2015. 

External links

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