New York Military Academy Closing After 126 Years, Boarding School Counts Donald Trump, John Gotti Jr. Among Alumni

After 126 years, the New York Military Academy is closing its doors for good. The prestigious boarding school — which once counted the likes of Donald Trump, mob boss John Gotti Jr., famed movie director Francis Ford Coppola, and celebrated musical composer Stephen Sondheim among its ranks — has been facing financial troubles in recent year, as enrollment numbers have dropped from over 500 in the 1960s to less than 100 last year.

In March, the military academy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but despite this, Anthony Desa, president of the board of trustees of the New York Military Academy, posted a letter on the academy’s website on August 28, stating that school will indeed begin in September as usual.

“On behalf of NYMA Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff, I am pleased to announce that NYMA’s fall term will commence on September 14, 2015. 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.”

The surprise for many, however, came when the academy failed to open their doors last Monday, which left parents and students struggling to find alternative schools — a difficult feat for students who would have been seniors this year, Jane Opie –whose 18-year-old son was one of those students — told the New York Times.

“It was an emotional rollercoaster. When we were supposed to be visiting colleges in the spring, we were visiting high schools. My son is angry. He’s still angry.”

Business Insider reports that there are some who are still holding out hope that New York Military Academy alumnus Donald Trump will be the school’s guardian angel by offering up the $13 million the academy needs in order to pay creditors and remain open — though it’s doubtful. According to the New York Times, in 2011, Trump was asked for $7 million to aid the failing academy, but the presidential candidate deemed his former school a “failing enterprise.”

With the New York Military Academy closing, the school and the 113 acres it sits on are scheduled to hit the auction block at the end of September. The minimum bid is $9.5 million, and the winning bidder has no obligation to maintain a school on the property. The original plan to sell the academy to a group of California-based investors fell through earlier this month when they failed come through with the promised $1.3 million down payment.

Do you think Trump has any obligation, moral or otherwise, to save the New York Military Academy — the school he once credited as being the source of his maturation as a teenager? Sound off below.

[Image Credit: New York Military Academy]