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 the College

Upcoming Events

The U.S. Naval War College events showcase the expansive depth and reach of our programs and faculty, while enhancing our relevance to the Navy and to national security.

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U.S. Naval War College Museum

Located in historic Founders Hall, the museum serves to educate the community on regional naval history and assist scholarly researchers with the Museum holdings.

Visiting the Museum

Newport, Rhode Island

Newport, Rhode Island, offers so much to see and do, from setting sail and sampling local fare to site-seeing among the numerous historic and cultural attractions.

Exploring Newport

News, Media, & Events

Issues in National Security: "End of the Cold War"

Sep. 29, 2020
4:30 p.m.
Virtual Event

Sir John Orde and the Trafalgar Campaign: A Failure of Information Sharing

Mar. 16, 2020
Naval War College Review, Volume 73, Issue 2
Article Publication