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State University of New York Maritime

SUNY Maritime College is a maritime college located in the Bronx, New York, United States in historic Fort Schuyler on the Throggs Neck peninsula where the East River meets Long Island Sound.


6 Pennyfield Ave
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College History


Maritime College is the oldest institution of its kind in the United States. In part, due to the Civil War there was a decline in the American maritime industry and a growing concern in the professionalism of its officers. As a result, the New York Chamber of Commerce and maritime interests of the port of New York lobbied the state legislature to create a professional nautical school for the city. This was done in 1873, but the school lacked a ship. The chamber then teamed up with the noted naval education reformer and modernizer, Stephen B. Luce. Luce lead the charge and through his efforts, an act was passed by Congress in 1874 that enabled individual states to request from the Navy retired or obsolete vessels to train seamen. The state of New York then appealed to the Navy for a training vessel. On December 14, 1874, the USS St. Mary's arrived in New York harbor and became the home of the longest running nautical school in the United States. Originally administered by the Board of Education of the City of New York, it was conducted as a grammar school that taught common school subjects (along with nautical classes) during the winter term, and then held practical cruises during the summer term. As time advanced, the school began to teach more advanced professional subjects. During this early period, the school was typically run on an annual appropriation of $20,000 to $30,000 with the school often facing closure because the cost per pupil was much higher than in a regular public school mainly due to the overhead of ship maintenance and student board. By 1907, the St. Mary's was replaced by the gunboat Newport, a sail-steam hybrid. In 1913, New York City threatened to close the school due to its costs. However, the state of New York took over its management and renamed it the New York State Nautical School. Despite being under state guidance, the school was almost closed in 1916, again for budgetary reasons, but efforts from the maritime industry and the school's alumni kept it alive. After this time, the American merchant marine grew and subsequently a greater demand for trained American merchant marine brought growth to the school. During this period, the school was administered by a Board of Governors in addition to the Superintendent. In 1921, the school, which had for long moved from berth to berth, found itself at Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor. There, they were allowed to use the army facilities. Over time, conditions on the island were deemed inadequate to teach modern merchant mariners. With the growing demand, a push was made by then superintendent James Harvey Tomb beginning in 1927 to acquire a larger ship and a land-based institution. The ship came in the form of the Procyon, which was renamed the Empire State. This ship effectively doubled the size of the school. Finally, the school, renamed the New York State Merchant Marine Academy, in 1929 became land-based in 1938 at the Maritime College's present Throggs Neck campus in Fort Schuyler. One of Franklin D. Roosevelt's last acts as governor of New York State was to sign the act turning Fort Schuyler and the Throggs Neck peninsula over to the school for use as a shore-based facility of higher education. Work restoring Fort Schuyler for the academy's use was done at first by the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration (TERA) in 1934 followed by the Works Progress Administration in 1935. The fort was restored, allowing the school to operate there by 1938. In 1946, degree conferring status was granted and the academy became a college. The college was one of the original institutions incorporated into the State University of New York system in 1948.

College Specialty


Maritime College educates leaders to excel in the global maritime environment through an interdisciplinary approach to undergraduate and graduate studies in engineering, maritime studies, global maritime business, security and supply chain management, and environmental science; specialized programs are offered as pathways to US Coast Guard licensing or military accession and training.



Commodore Leroy J. Alexanderson, the last Master of the SS United States John W. Anderson, longest serving Master of the SS United States John Ferriola, class of 1974, President and Chief Operating Officer, Nucor Paul C. Grening, class of 1897, master mariner, Captain of the President Harding that rescued the Ignazio Florio Joseph Hazelwood, Master of the Exxon Valdez Gary Jobson, class of 1973, America's Cup tactician in 1977 for Ted Turner. Self-proclaimed pre-eminent ambassador for sailing in the U.S. Chris Gazzo, Class of 1996, the "Voice of New York Harbor" Scott Kelly, NASA astronaut John Konrad, author and maritime journalist. Commander Kevin Mannix, United States Navy, Class of 1986, Flight Leader and Commanding Officer, Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Team. CDR Mannix assumed command of the Blue Angels in November 2006. Ross Marvin, class of 1902, accompanied Robert Peary on his expeditions to the North Pole where he was murdered. Felix Riesenberg, class of 1897, master mariner, author Edward Villella, dancer and choreographer Daniel J. McCarthy, class of 1986, President & Chief Operating Officer, Frontier Communications