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History of Maritime College and Fort Schuyler

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All information compiled by Joe Williams in Four Years Before the Mast: A History of New York's Maritime College.

Names of the Institution

Maritime College had several different names before incorporating with SUNY in 1949, as follows:

1873 – 1913:       New York Nautical School

1913 – 1929:       New York State Nautical School

1929 – 1941:       New York State Merchant Marine Academy

1941 – 1949:       New York State Maritime Academy

1949 – present:  State University of New York Maritime College

Training Ships

Hands-on training on ships has always been a vital part of the Maritime experience. The following is a list of the school's training ships since the school's founding. 

Name: St. Mary’s

Class: Sloop-of-War

Dates: Training ship for New York Nautical School from 1875-1908


Name: Newport

Class: Patrol Gunboat

Dates: Training ship for New York Nautical / New York State Nautical School from 1908 - 1931


Name: Empire State 

Class: Antares Class Miscellaneous Auxiliary, Flagship of Fleet Base Force, Shipping Board Vessel, Troop and Cargo Carrier

Dates: Training ship for the New York State Merchant Marine Academy / New York State Maritime Academy from 1931 - 1941


Name: Keystone State

Class: Coast Guard Cutter

Dates: Shared training ship for the New York State Maritime Academy from July 1, 1942 - August 7, 1942.


Name:  Alleghany; American Seafarer

Class: Coast Passenger Cargo Ship

Dates: Shared training ship for the New York State Maritime Academy from August 8, 1942 - December 12, 1942


Name:  Empire State II

Class: Artemis Class Attack Cargo Ship

Dates: Training ship for New York State Maritime Academy / SUNY Maritime College from 1946 - 1956


Name: Empire State III

Class: Comfort Class Hospital Ship

Dates: Training ship for SUNY Maritime College from 1956 - 1960


Name: Empire State IV

Class: Troop Transport; Military Sea Transport Service

Dates: Training ship for SUNY Maritime College from 1959 - 1973


Name: Empire State V

Class: Barrett Class Passenger Transport

Dates: Training ship for SUNY Maritime College from 1973 - 1990


Name: Empire State VI

Class:  Class Passenger / Cargo Vessel

Dates: Rebuilt in 1988 and given to SUNY Maritime College; still in use today


Heads of the school were referred to as superintendents prior to incorporation with SUNY.


Robert Lees Phythian, CDR (USN) – 1874-1879

Henry Erben, Jr., CAPT (USN) – 1879-1882

Edwin Malcom Shepard, CDR (USN) –1883-1886

Arent Schuyler Crowninshield, CDR (USN) –1887-1890

John McGowan, Jr., (CDR)(USN) –1891-1894

Wells Laflin Field, LCDR (USN) – 1894-1897

William Herren Reeder, LCDR (USN) –1897-1901

Howard Patterson, LT (New York Naval Militia)(acting) – 1898

Albion Varet Wadhams, CDR (USN) – 1901-1902

Gustavus Charles Hanus, CDR (USN ret) –1902-1908

Lay Hampton Everhart, LCDR (USN ret) –1908-1911

Harry Mason Dombaugh, LCDR (USN ret) –1911-1912

Edwin Hord Tillman, CDR (USN, ret) –1912-1914

James R. Driggs, Class of 1882, LCDR (USNR) –1914

Frederick Shepard McMurray, Class of 1896, LCDR (USNR) –1914-1917

Felix Riesenberg, Class of 1897, LCDR (USNR) – 1917-1919

Thomas W. Sheridan, Class of 1906, LCDR (USNR) –1919

John Stansbury Baylis, Class of 1903, LCDR (USCG) –1919-1923

Felix Riesenberg, Class of 1897, LCDR (USNR) –1923-1924

Edward V.W. Keen, Class of 1900, CDR (USNR) –1925-1927

James Harvey Tomb, CAPT (USN ret) –1927-1942

Herbert Fairfax Leary, VADM (USN ret) –1946-1949


Herbert Fairfax Leary, VADM (USN ret)—1949-1951

Calvin Tornton Durgin, VADM (USN ret)—1951-1959

Harold C. Moore, Class of 1992, VADM (USCG ret)—1959-1967

Edward J. O’Donnell, RADM (USN ret)—1967-1972

Sheldon Hoard Kinney, RADM (USN ret)—1972-1982

Floyd H. Miller, Class of 1953, RADM (USN ret)—1982-1995

David C. Brown, RADM (USMS), CAPT (USN ret)—1995-2001

John W. Craine, Jr., VAD< (USN ret)(interim)—2001-2002

Wendi B. Carpenter, RADM (USN ret)—2011-2013

Michael A. Cappeto (interim)—2013-2014

Michael A. Alfultis, CAPT (USCG)—2014-present

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