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This year commemorates 175 years of leadership, service, and tradition at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Join us for a look back at some of the people, milestones and moments that shaped this extraordinary history.

“The Naval School” was established by then-Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft on a 10-acre Army post in Annapolis called Fort Severn on 10 October 1845. There were initially only 50 students and seven faculty members; the curriculum included mathematics and navigation, gunnery and steam propulsion, chemistry, English, natural philosophy and French.

Bancroft Hall

In 1850 the Naval School became the United States Naval Academy. A new curriculum went into effect requiring midshipmen to study at the Academy for four years and to train aboard ships each summer. That format is the basis of a far more advanced and sophisticated curriculum at the Naval Academy today.

A Brief History and Timeline of USNA

50 Most InfluenTial Alumni

This group of influential alumni includes astronauts, wartime heroes, Heisman Trophy winners, pro athlete hall-of-famers, multiple Chiefs of Naval Operations and a United States president. The goal entering the selection process was showcasing the pace-setters, barrier- breakers, trailblazers and innovators who represent the full range of backgrounds and experiences that make up the alumni population. In June, the Alumni Association asked alumni to participate in a survey to choose the 10 most influential folks among a list of about 80. Alumni were asked for names of those not included on the original list. More than 900 survey responses were submitted, with 228 write-in nominations (several names were duplicated). Read More

To mark this occasion, Superintendent VADM Sean Buck ’83, USN; USNA Alumni Association and Foundation President and CEO Byron F. Marchant and Brigade leaders MIDN Ryan Chapman ’21 and MIDN Sydney Barker ’21 share their thoughts on the Naval Academy and its impact: past, present and future.

We are all part of the Academy’s tradition, history and perhaps most importantly, its future. Our classmates, shipmates and fellow alumni make history, and fulfill our promise of service to the nation every day. I encourage you to recognize those contributions and our storied history on Founder’s Day as we celebrate our connection to the Academy and our long blue line. I want to thank my friend and colleague, Bob Williams ’45, for his contagious enthusiasm and vision in celebrating this milestone. He’s championed a “Naval Academy Day” where alumni and the Naval Academy community come together to honor our shared history.

- Byron F. Marchant '78, President and CEO, USNA Alumni Association and Foundation

Like Father like Son

By MIDN 4/C Alex Hooker ‘23

Comparing the Naval Academy Experiences of Nimitz Jr. and Sr. Considering the long line of brave, consequential officers produced by the Naval Academy since opening its doors, it would seem that this “shore college” is doing something right. 175 years’ worth of graduates prove annually the value of the Academy as an indispensable resource for the United States. Read More

The Same Ring

By James J. Neal ’60

From Ring Dance to today, I’ve had the privilege of wearing a ring with Ex Scientia Tridens on one side and my class’ crest on the other. To it, I’ve had the pleasure of adding another 60. The same ring.

Inside it was engraved, Ensign USN. Later it was re-engraved, Captain USMC. Early on it was mated to a twisted band. Now it’s worn alone. It’s seen peace, and wars both hot and cold. It’s travelled most of the continents and Seven Seas. It’s even changed hands. Its size is the same, but its fit isn’t. My fingers are smaller and my knuckles are bigger. The same ring. Read More

Breaking In: 40 years of USNA women in service

By LCDR Lauren (St. Pierre-Hetz) Wilson ’09, USN

“It’s a great place to be from, but not a great place to be at!” goes the old adage that is frequently muttered amongst current and former midshipmen alike as they reflect on their time at Mother B. It’s not a secret that successfully completing four years at the Naval Academy is a significant challenge…and necessarily so. But how many of us had a harder time than our peers specifically because of our gender? Read More

For more information about the Naval Academy's history, visit USNA.edu and the USNA Museum's Facebook page.