Pringle Hall with international flags at the U.S. Naval War College.

History & Campus

Our institution has a rich history, and it has continuously evolved to prepare U.S. and international navies for the ever-changing political, economic, and social conditions of our nation and world.

Establishing the Navy’s Home of Thought

U.S. Naval War College (NWC), the oldest institution of its kind, was founded in 1884 by Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce. His leadership and vision laid a solid foundation for more than a century of professional development and research—and it all started with desire to better educate the fleet.

Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce

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A Timeline: NWC through the Years

The early years: creating a curriculum

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Early 20th century

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Post-World War II

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21st century

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On the Horizon

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Our Campus

When the College opened, it was housed entirely within the old Newport Asylum for the Poor. Now known as Founders Hall, it’s a registered National Historic Landmark and is home to the Naval War College Museum.

The most iconic, stately structure on campus is Luce Hall, which opened in 1892 as the then-new home of the college. Overlooking the bay, the Belgium-inspired building was designed to hold the library, living quarters, classrooms, and offices. As the student body and academic offerings grew, the campus expanded to include a variety of buildings and features, from the historic Mahan Rotunda and Reading Room to the high-tech wargaming resources inside McCarty Little Hall.

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Past Presidents

From the time of its founder and first president, Rear Admiral Steven B. Luce in 1884, the Naval War College has been capably led to excel as the Navy's "Home of Thought". The vision and efforts of its storied presidents have ensured the college's place at the forefront of educating leaders.

Discover Past Presidents

More Information on NWC

Naval Station Newport

Naval Station Newport (NAVSTA) is the Navy’s premier site for training officers, officer candidates, senior enlisted personnel and midshipman candidates.

Explore NAVSTA

Newport, Rhode Island

Scenic coastal views. Bustling seaports. Colonial-era architecture. Sprawling estates. Newport, Rhode Island, offers so much to see and do.

Visit Newport

Naval War College Museum

The historic Naval War College Museum serves to educate the community, as the corporate memory of the Navy in the region, and as a clearinghouse for naval history information in New England.

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News, Media, & Events

NWC-at-NPS Celebrates 81st Graduating Class

Jan. 10, 2020
News Publication

Issues in National Security Lecture 2: "Teaching Leadership to Senior Navy Leaders"

Jan. 28, 2020
4:30 p.m.
Pringle Auditorium, U.S. Naval War College, 686 Cushing Road, Newport, RI 02841

China Goes to Sea: Maritime Transformation in Comparative Historical Perspective

Sep. 13, 2019
Naval Institute Press
Article Publication