New York Military Academy — the 126-year-old boarding school that counts Donald Trump and John Gotti Jr. among its notable alumni — abruptly closed last Monday, The New York Times reports.
The upstate New York military academy had been facing financial hardship, as enrollment numbers continued to dwindle, and it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April.
But the abrupt closure still came as a shock to parents and students who were slated to begin classes in September.
“When we were supposed to be visiting colleges in the spring, we were visiting high schools,” Jane Opie, the mother of a rising senior who was set to attend NYMA, told the Times
. “My son is angry. He’s still angry.”
The news might have come as a particular shock since the school said classes would be starting on September 14. In late August, the academy posted a letter on its website that seemed positive. From the letter:
“After the great uncertainty of the last several months, this term will not only be special from the standpoint of developing future Cadets, it will be special for allowing NYMA’s legacy as an exceptional preparatory academy to continue forward in great stride,” Board of Trustees President Anthony Desa wrote in the letter, adding that the school even had scholarship funds available to some students.
NYMA was originally an all-boys’ school but went coeducational in 1975. It has been host to a number of famous alumni in addition to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and organised mafia boss John A. Gotti.
Acclaimed director Francis Ford Coppola — a household name for his directorial success of “The Godfather” — attended NYMA, as did renowned musical composer Stephen Sondheim.
Donald Trump has talked about his high school alma mater on numerous occasions during his presidential campaign.
“I can tell you that one of the great choices I ever made in terms of success is the choice of going to NYMA,” Trump told CNN in September. “I loved it. It was terrific training. It was tough, but it was good.”
He has also spoken about the focus and refinement NYMA provided in the past. “I wasn’t the most well behaved person in the world and my parents had no idea what to do with me, and they heard about this school that was a tough place and they sent me up to New York Military Academy and it was really a great experience for me,” Trump told CNN in a 2005 interview.
His vocal support of the school is providing hope to alumni of the school that Trump would “be a rescuing angel and provide the $US13 million the school needs to pay creditors and other costs,” according to the Times.
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