Your Questions Answered: How Old Is Massachusetts Maritime Academy?

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We love receiving questions from our Follow The Voyage-Share The Experience Program participants.  Several classes have asked,

How old is Massachusetts Maritime Academy?

The Academy will celebrate its 132nd birthday on June 11, 2023.  It is the second oldest state maritime academy in the United States

In 1891, the Massachusetts Nautical Training School was established at Rowes Wharf in Boston, Massachusetts.  Its first training ship, the USS Enterprise, was on loan from the United States Navy.  At the time, young men from Massachusetts between the ages of 17 and 20 pursued degrees in Marine Transportation and Marine Engineering

photo from 1890s cadets in front of ship
In this photo from the 1890s, cadets from the Massachusetts Nautical Training School are lined up for morning formation in front of the USS Enterprise, the school's first training ship.

Since its founding, the school itself has had three different names. In 1913, the Massachusetts Nautical Training School was renamed the Massachusetts Nautical School. In 1942, it was renamed Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Has your school had just one name?

For its first five decades, the school was exclusively aboard ships.  That’s right, cadets learned, trained, ate, and slept aboard a ship.  How does that sound to you?  Would you enjoy having a ship be both your school and your home away from home?  During the winter, the ship would stay in port.  In the summer, the ship would sail the world so that cadets could gain hands-on experience. 

In 1936, the school moved to Hyannis, Massachusetts on Cape Cod.  In 1946, the U.S. Navy gave Massachusetts Maritime Academy a new training ship.  The draft of the gunboat Charleston was too big to fit into Hyannis Harbor so the school moved to the State Pier on Taylor’s Point in Buzzards Bay

ship Charleston
The Charleston served as Massachusetts Maritime Academy's training ship from 1946 - 1957.  The red arrow points to what is now Flanagan Hall.  The building was unused at the time that the Charleston arrived.  Today, Flannagan hall is home to the Admissions Department, the Financial Aid Department, a science lab, and a large lecture hall.

Since then, Massachusetts Maritime Academy has grown and expanded on Taylors Point.  Women began attending the Academy in 1977

first omen at the academy
In 1981, five women became the first females to graduate from Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Today, cadets choose between seven different undergraduate majors; Marine Engineering, Marine Transportation, Facilities Engineering, Energy Systems Engineering, International Maritime Business, and Emergency Management.  There are also advanced programs in Maritime Business Management, Emergency Management, and Facilities Management

campus today, red arrow points to Flanagan Hall
This is Massachusetts Maritime Academy's campus today.  It continues to grow and expand. An energy, engineering and science laboratory building and a new conference center are under construction.  The red arrow points to Flanagan Hall.

So wherever you are on June 11, 2023, go outside and shout, “Happy 132nd Birthday, Massachusetts Maritime Academy!”  We will hear you!

number 132

Please keep the questions coming!  Teachers may send questions to