New York Military Academy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
New York Military Academy
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
Superintendent Major General William Beard, USAR
CEEB Code 331-515[1]
President Anthony Desa
Commandant & Senior Army Instructor LTC (Ret.) Samantha B. Ross
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 $36,190 (local, boarding)
$9,200 (day)
$41,340 (international)
Affiliations AMCSUS

New York Military Academy (NYMA) is a private coeducational boarding school in the rural village of Cornwall-on-Hudson, 60 miles (97 km) north of New York City, and is one of the oldest military schools in the United States. Originally a boys' school, it has been coeducational since 1975. On March 3, 2015, NYMA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, facing serious financial difficulties from low enrollment. Efforts are ongoing to secure the Academy's future, and on August 28, 2015, it confirmed that it would be open for the Fall semester.


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 is now predominantly a high school.

NYMA is now one of the oldest and best-known military schools in the United States. 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. The Academy is a member of the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States, as well as several other school associations.

Financial difficulties[edit]

The school recently emerged from a difficult period in which it faced the possibility it would have to close, due to financial problems and enrollment that had dwindled to 145 students. The Academy held what was said to be its final graduation ceremonies 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 new board leadership, the vision for NYMA's future now holds that the academy will be a "best practice" school, providing 21st-century educational programs for intentional learners, in a student-centered constructivist environment that serves 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] Local news outlets speculated that NYMA's multi-million dollar debts and recent very low enrollment numbers (under 100 cadets) were key motivating factors in the decision.[10] In a response to the bankruptcy proceedings and issues related to the availability of its assets, NYMA closed to all cadets from March 16 to March 18, 2015.[11] NYMA has since reopened but announced on April 2, 2015 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]

On July 1, 2015, NYMA submitted a reorganization plan to the Bankruptcy Court to repay its debts by selling the school to a prospective purchaser for $13 million.[13] On August 28, the Academy confirmed that it would be open for the Fall 2015 semester.[14]


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.[15] 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.


The size of the Corps of Cadets is adjusted depending on the number of students enrolled at the academy. As a military school, the JROTC is a key component and participation is required to graduate.[1] The battalion typically consists 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.

Student life[edit]

NYMA strives to provide its students with a structured environment, placing an emphasis on leadership development. Although 80% of the Corps of Cadets comes from the Tri-State area, there is a large and growing mix of international students who enjoy the local activities that Cornwall-on-Hudson and the region have to offer.

The days at NYMA begin at 6:00 am and typically 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.[16]


NYMA competes in Football, Basketball, Baseball, Soccer, Lacrosse, Rugby, Swimming, Softball, Track & Field, Volleyball, Cross-Country, Wrestling, Tennis, Rifle Team, Golf, Drill Team, and Raiders. The school's mascot is the Knight. Teams compete in the Hudson Valley Athletic League, a member league of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC).


While this practice is 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.[17]

Notable alumni[edit]

Major buildings[edit]

  • Davis Chapel (contains the second-largest theater pipe organ in New York State, built by M.P. Moller)
  • Jones Barracks
  • Booth Library
  • Scarborough Hall
  • Pattillo Hall
  • Riley (formerly Dingley) Hall
  • Dickinson Hall
  • Alumni Gym and Pool


  1. ^ a b c NYMA Profile 2014–2015
  2. ^ a b 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". 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. ^ Randall, Michael (August 3, 2015). "Battle brews over sale of NY Military Academy site". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved August 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ Desa, Anthony (August 28, 2015). "BOT President Anthony Desa Announces NYMA's Fall Semester" (PDF). NYMA. Retrieved August 29, 2015. 
  15. ^ Randall, Michael (May 14, 2010). "Village might annex NYMA". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved July 26, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Privileges". NYMA. October 29, 2013. Retrieved July 26, 2014. 
  17. ^ Randall, Michael (March 23, 2005). "Alleged stabber to back cadet's NYMA hazing claim". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved July 26, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°26′54″N 74°01′39″W / 41.4483°N 74.0275°W / 41.4483; -74.0275