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.

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More Information on the College

News, Media, & Events

Naval War College Hosts NWC-at-NPS Graduation

Mar. 29, 2021
News Publication

U.S. Naval War College Town Hall on Zoom

May. 07, 2021
12:30 p.m.
Virtual Event

Admiral Lord Keith and the Naval War against Napoleon

Mar. 02, 2021
University Press of Florida
Article Publication