UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY
64 | 61ST AutoZone Liberty Bowl
SPECIAL THANKS BOWL HISTORY HONORS K-STATE NAVY BOWL EVENTS WELCOME
Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft laid the
foundation for the Naval Academy when, in 1845,
he established the Naval School at Fort Severn in
Annapolis. Commander Franklin Buchanan served as
the first Superintendent. His faculty consisted of four
officers and three civilian professors. There were 50 students.
Initially, the academic and professional instruction
required five years—the first and last at Annapolis,
with the intervening three at sea.
In 1850, the Naval School became the United States
Naval Academy. The following year, the Academy adopted
its current course of instruction which includes
VICE ADM. SEAN S. BUCK
THE NAVAL ACADEMY
four consecutive years at Annapolis, with at-sea training provided
during the summers.
The Naval Academy moved to Newport, R.I., during the Civil War.
In 1865, it was re-established at Annapolis under the leadership of
Vice Admiral David Dixon Porter. During these early years, the Academy
was one of the few institutions of higher learning offering a sophisticated
undergraduate course in technical education.
The late 19th century saw immense changes in naval technology
with the conversion from sail-powered, wooden ships to steam-powered
vessels of steel, which also resulted in rapid developments in
naval weaponry and tactics. With the Spanish-American War in 1898,
the United States became a world naval power, and early Naval
Academy graduates like George Dewey and Alfred Thayer Mahan
made significant contributions to our national heritage.
The new century saw the nation’s undergraduate naval college
grow in size and academic prowess. The Class of 1895 had produced
41 graduates. By World War I, there were nearly 200
graduates each year, along with 2,500 reserve officers
who received their training at the Academy.
Between the two world wars, the curriculum and
training equipment were modernized to keep pace with
rapid advances in the naval profession and American
education. In 1930, the Association of American Universities
accredited the Naval Academy, and in 1933, an act
of Congress authorized the Naval Academy to confer
the degree of Bachelor of Science on graduates, beginning
with the Class of 1931. Congress authorized award
of the degree to all living graduates in 1939. The Middle
Atlantic States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools first
accredited the Academy in 1947.
In 1963, the Academy initiated the Trident Scholar Program, under
which a number of exceptional students are permitted to pursue independent
research during the first class (senior) year.
The 1964-65 academic year saw the civilian positions of academic
dean and dean of admissions established and far-reaching changes
made to the curriculum. The number of required core courses
was reduced and, for the first time, each midshipman was allowed
to pursue academic areas of individual interest for minor or major.
Additional changes, introduced in the 1969-70 academic year, now
require every midshipman to complete a major.
In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed legislation authorizing
admission of women to the service academies. The first women midshipmen
entered the Academy in July 1976 and graduated with the
Class of 1980.