New York Military Academy

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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
Closed 2015
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) was 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 had been coeducational during 1975–2015. 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 as promised by the President of the Board of Trustees on August 28, 2015, NYMA remained closed and began preparing for bankruptcy auction.


NYMA had 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 was 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 had been admitted from 1975 to 2015. NYMA was a member of the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States as well as several other school associations.

Financial difficulties[edit]

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] 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 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 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] However, when the buyer delivered a downpayment of 1% instead of the promised 10%, NYMA failed to reopen and instead headed to bankruptcy auction.[15]


The school was located in the town of Cornwall, New York, and used the mailing address of the village Cornwall-on-Hudson despite being just outside its official boundary.[16] Geographically, the academy was 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 was approximately 60 miles (97 km) north of New York City, or about one hour by car. This placed NYMA in the Mid-Hudson region of the Hudson Valley, which was 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 was adjusted depending on the number of students enrolled at the academy. As a military school, the JROTC was a key component, and participation was required to graduate.[1] The battalion 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]

Student life[edit]

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

The days at NYMA began at 6:00 am and typically ended at 10:00 pm. Cadets attended grade-specific classes during that time and also participated in organized or intramural sports, activities, and study hall. During closed weekends, cadets were 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 could apply for weekend furlough.[17]


NYMA competed 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 competed in the Hudson Valley Athletic League, a member league of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC).


While this practice was 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.[18]

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. ^ Berger, Joseph (September 20, 2015). "New York Military Academy’s Sudden Closing, After 126 Years". The New York Times. Retrieved September 21, 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. ^ 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