CORNWALL-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — The 126-year-old New York Military Academy, whose notable alumni include Donald Trump, Stephen Sondheim, and John A. Gotti, is shutting it doors after years of financial troubles.
The sudden closing has left dozens of parents looking for last-minute boarding-school alternatives. The academy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March and failed to open last Monday, according to the New York Times.
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, who attended the boarding school for five years before graduating in 1964, was asked four years ago to donate $7 million to help save the boarding school. He declined, saying his money would be used better on a different philanthropy. Trump has credited the academy for correcting his poor behavior when he was younger, giving him “more training militarily than a lot of guys that go into the military,” according to the Times.
Trump offered to donate a building 10 years ago, but dropped the offer when the school said it preferred a cash donation.
This time around, alumni hoped the real estate mogul would pull through and donate $13 million to save the school. Trump has not commented on the school’s closing.
The boarding school wasn’t only relying on Trump to save it. In June, the academy announced it was weighing three offers, two from schools and one from an investor, to solve its bankruptcy issue. The school estimated it was more than $10 million in debt which included $6.6 million owed on a mortgage, according to the Times Herald-Record. The property is valued at $10.2 million.
The lack of students paying $40,000 tuition ultimately contributed to the school’s mounting financial issues. Last year, less than 100 students enrolled in the school, compared to over 500 in the 1960s.