Historical Timeline

Academy Historical Timeline

1910 Captain Thomas A. Davis founded the San Diego Army and Navy Academy in the old Balboa Hotel in Pacific Beach with thirteen students.

1912 The Academy has its first graduation with two students.

1913 The first recognition and accreditation took place by University of California officials.

1914 The United States Army adds a regular Officer to conduct Military Science and Tactics courses.

1915 Growth of the school required expansion of building additional educational facilities.

1920 Founders brother, Lieutenant John Davis, Jr. joined school staff as an Assistant Professor of Military Science.

1921 Tuition cost for a boarding student was $1,000.00 per year.

1922 The Academy added a Naval training program to school curriculum.

1922 School founder Thomas Davis garnered a commission as Colonel from the National Guard of Kentucky.

1923 A Lower School Division was established as a separate unit on campus. This division was for first grade to sixth grade.

1924 The enrollment rose to 329 cadets.

1924 The Academy joined the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States.

1926 The school added three new buildings, auditorium for drama department, classrooms for the lower school and an infirmary.

1926 Captain Atkinson received praise and recognition in Southern California for participating in local parades and providing concerts in Balboa Park.

1927 United States War Department awarded the Class “M1” military rating. This established the Academy as a junior unit of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program.

1927 The school now had 500 registered students and started a gigantic building expansion program.

1927 The City of Los Angeles invited the Cadet Battalion to take part in the dedication ceremony of the New City Hall.

1928 The school added four new cadet barracks buildings and there were 64 building and cottages on campus to house 362 cadets.

1929 The Junior College Division was founded. An additional 18 acres were purchased to accommodate the college program.

1929 The school had reached 437 registered cadets.

1930 The Academy marked the 20th Anniversary. Colonel Davis was making plans to double the school from 500 to 1000 students.

1931 The National economic problems of the pending depression were starting to impact school operations with declining enrollment.

1933 The Security Trust & Savings Bank, and other creditors, which hold to mortgage on the school, seized control of the management of the school.

1935 The Academy starts its twenty-fifth year and should be celebrating their Silver Anniversary. In light of the poor economic situation no celebration is held.

1936 The last graduation for the San Diego Army and Navy Academy is held at the Pacific Beach campus. Bank and creditors foreclose on the school seizing all property and holding of the school.

1936 In Summer, Colonel Davis forms a stock company in which faculty and staff invests personal resources and creates a new school. Abandoned Red Apple Inn is rented in Carlsbad, California.

1936 In September, Colonel Davis opens the Davis Military Academy with 37 cadets,

1937 Pacific Beach campus is sold. New owner does not want the school’s name. The name, San Diego Army & Navy Academy is returned to Davis.

1938 School year starts with old name.

1938 Mr. & Mrs. Arthur C. Anderson befriend the Academy and become generous benefactors.

1938 During Christmas Holiday Colonel Thomas Davis informs faculty and staff that he is resigning from the Academy to return to the Pacific Beach campus. He accepts a position as Vice-President and Director of Admission for the educational corporation that purchased the school assets.

1939 Combination auditorium-gymnasium and seven 4-room cottages on built on campus.

1941 Major John Davis, the second school President, leaves the school for another position at an East Coast military Academy.

1941 On December 16th, the Academy dropped it’s for profit status as a private stock corporation and becomes a non-profit educational organization.

1942 The third school President, Captain V.R. Vestal, leaves the school to return to active military duty during World War II.

1942 Major Samuel Warfield Peterson, who has served the Academy as Headmaster, is elevated as the fourth President.

1943 San Diego was dropped from the official name of the school and it was now known as the “Army and Navy Academy”.

1943 On the 26th of April, Major Samuel Warfield Peterson passed away after long service to the Academy since 1916.

1943 Board of Directors appoints Major W.C. Atkinson as fifth School President. Mrs. Virginia Powell Atkinson was appointed as the first woman Vice-President of a Military School.

1943 Negotiation of a sale agreement was started with Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Anderson. The Anderson transferred title to the school of all property and assets or $10,000.00 a year for twenty years.

1944 The school starts a waiting list for students. A building program for additional student housing is started. Tents were placed on campus on a temporary basis during construction to accommodate student quarters.

1945 Headmaster Charles Bain passed away after a long illness. Raymond Ede takes over as Headmaster.

1948 Building expansion program started with three buildings.

  • Academic Hall
  • Bain Hall
  • Recreation Hall

1949 Academy friend and benefactor Arthur Anderson passed away.

1950 Sadly, within six months Gertrude Anderson also passes. It is revealed that all school grounds and buildings are left to the Academy free of all indebtedness.

1950 After forty years, the school has just over 200 cadets and continues its mission of “to educate and develop young men of good character”.

1951 Beloved teacher and School Vice-President Virginia Powell Atkinson suddenly passed away after a short illness.

1955 Building and campus expansion program started.

1955 New dormitory built in honor of Dr. S. J. McClendon, a prominent San Diego pediatrician

1956 A Cadet Chapel in memory of Virginia Powell Atkinson was started

1956 Academy Library built in honor of Major Samuel Warfield Peterson

1957 New dormitory built in honor of V. J. Dorman – Board of Director and Attorney

1958 New dormitory built in honor of Roy Hoover, a retired banker and Board of Director

1958 The Mother’s Club was formed on November 7th. Later to be known as the Army Navy Academy Patron’s Association (ANAPA)

1958 The Virginia Powell Atkinson Memorial Chapel was dedicated

1960 The Academy celebrates fifty years of dedicated service of “educating and developing young men of character”

1960 The Senior White Uniform was debuted as part of the Golden Anniversary celebration

1960 A Memorial Chapel window dedicated, a gift from the Class of 1961

1960 The Fitzgerald Science Hall was dedicated

1960 New dormitory built in honor of M. H. “Myke” Lewis, a friend of the Academy

1960 The Administrative Building, built in 1939, was dedicated to the school founder Colonel Thomas Davis for his long devoted service to the Academy.

1961 New dormitory built in honor of Roy S. McIntosh, a long-time Latin Teacher for the Academy.

1964 The swimming pool facility, a project of the ANA Mother’s Club, was donated and dedicated to the school

1966 A contract was signed with the Department of the Army to assign an active duty Officer as the Senior Army Instructor to oversee and manage the JROTC program.

1970 An expansion was completed to the Commandant’s Office and named in honor of Lieutenant Gary Letson, USMC, ANA Class of 1963, who was killed in the action in the Republic of Viet Nam.

1971 The Academy was named as an Honor Unit with Distinction by the Department of Army.

1972 Colonel W.C. Atkinson retired from the Office of President. Two years later he returned to the office to oversee and manage the day to day operations of the school.

1980 Colonel Gilbert Brookhart took over the Office of President. Two year later he passed away.

1983 Colonel William Currier Atkinson passed away after fifty-nine years of dedicated and devoted service to the Army & Navy Academy community.

1985 The Army and Navy Academy celebrates their Diamond Jubilee and seventy-five of service to continue, “Our mission is to educate and develop young men of good character”

1988 “The salute to Colonel Atty”, a fund raising program, is started by the Alumni Association to build the Colonel William Atkinson Building.

1992 The Crean Foundation gives a generous gift to build much needed student housing facilities.

1994 The Atkinson and Crean student housing facilities are completed and dedicated.

1994 The school’s Athletic Field is named in honor of Coach John Maffucci for his long-time service to the school and its athletic programs. The City of Carlsbad further honors him by declaring October 28th, 1994 as “Coach John Maffucci Day”.

2002 Brigadier General Stephen Bliss is named President of the Academy.

2003 A dormitory building was damaged and needed to be replaced. A new multi-story student housing unit is built. The new facility is named in honor of Mr. & Mrs. A.C. Anderson whose kindness ensured that ANA would have needed resources to continue providing an unique environment for educating young gentlemen of good character.

2003 An old student housing unit, on south side of campus, was converted into needed office spaces for the Military (JROTC) Department. This building was re-dedicated in honor and memory of Lieutenant Colonel Steve Miller who started his career with the Academy as the Senior Military Instructor in 1992.

2005 The southwest corner ANA of the athletic field was selected to become the Home of the North County Viet Nam Veteran’s Memorial. This Memorial honors all known Veterans of North San Diego County who gave their last full measure to a grateful nation during this conflict. Also listed on this Memorial are ANA Alumni who died during the events of the Viet Nam War.

2012 Ground is broken to begin construction of the Duffield Sports Center.

2013 The Duffield Sports Center opens. It is a state-of-the-art athletic facility that is home to a basketball court, wrestling room, weight rooms, home and visiting team locker rooms, a concession stand, and additional office, academic, and meeting areas. It features an outdoor stadium with fixed seating, a two-story press box, VIP box seats, and an NFL-quality turf field

2014 Major General Arthur Bartell is named President of the Academy.


Past Presidents

2014 to Present
MG Arthur Bartell

2002 to 2014
BG Steve Bliss

1997 to 2002
Colonel Steve Miller

1992 to 1996
Dr. Fred Heinle

1991 to 1992
Mr. Michael Wallgren

Mr. John Maffucci
Dr. Conrad Garner

1983 to 1991
Colonel Donald Kline

1982 to 1983
Mr. Fred Rowhotham

1980 to 1982
Colonel G.N. Brookhart

1974 to 1980
Colonel W.C. Atkinson (President Emeritus)

1972 to 1974
Lt. Colonel W.C. Atkinson, Jr.

1943 to 1972
Colonel W.C. Atkinson

1942 to 1943
Major Samuel W. Peterson

1941 to 1942
Captain V.R. Vestal

1939 to 1941
Major John L. Davis

1910 to 1939
Colonel Thomas A. Davis (Founder)