Naval Academy Partnerships with St. John's College

St. John’s College and the United States Naval Academy have been neighbors in downtown Annapolis for more than 175 years. While the third-oldest college in the country and the second-oldest United States military service academy may not at first glance appear to have much in common beyond their storied histories in the state capital, both institutions offer a first-class education grounded in a core curriculum. The proximity of the two campuses allows students at St. John’s to experience unique social and recreational activities, such as the long-standing Annapolis tradition of the annual croquet match, spectating at Naval athletics, and visits to historic tourism sites. Johnnies can also benefit from academic and student employment opportunities, which offer competitive wage rates and a generous tuition assistance program.

Student Activities

The Annapolis Cup

The Annapolis Cup. Since 1983, Johnnies on the Annapolis campus have faced off against the midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy in a friendly-but-fierce rivalry for the Annapolis Cup and bragging rights as the best croquet team in town. This special tradition, now four decades in the making, has resulted in a record of 31 wins for the Johnnies and eight for the Naval Academy’s midshipmen.

Learn More about The Annapolis Cup
Visit the Naval Academy

Close proximity to the USNA brings amazing shows from the Blue Angels during Commissioning Week, the chance for Johnnies to enjoy college sports at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, and the impressive USNA Museum, which offers an in-depth look at the Navy’s history. Students can also stop by the academy’s coffee shop or restaurant while seeing the impressive ship and aircraft memorabilia on display, or visit the Chapel and the crypt of Revolutionary War hero and father of the U.S. Navy John Paul Jones.

U.S. Naval Academy Website

Additional Opportunities

  • Waltz parties. Midshipmen are invited to participate in waltz parties on campus, including the special Cotillion dance held after the croquet match.
  • The midshipmen are also invited to the St. John’s campus to take part in the many free activities and facilities available to the public including concerts, plays, lectures, the Mitchell Art Museum, and more.
  • Sports reporting. Johnnies have received press passes from Naval Academy Athletics to cover football games for the St. John’s publication The Gadfly and have interned for ESPN+ media broadcasts.

Academic Partnerships

  • Teaching partnership. The St. John’s College Graduate Institute has partnered with the academy to offer Master of Liberal Arts degrees to midshipmen who, upon completion of their degree at St. John’s, return to the Yard to teach in diverse departments.
  • The Kristensen Memorial Lecture Series. The Kristensen lecture, jointly sponsored by St. John’s and the USNA, is held annually in the Great Hall. The series honors Lt. Cmdr. Erik S. Kristensen (AGI00)—an alumnus of both the USNA and the St. John’s College Graduate Institute. Kristensen, a Navy SEAL, was killed in the line of duty in 2005 while leading a search and rescue mission in Afghanistan. The lecture series has addressed subjects such as civilian-military relations, the principles of grand strategy and foreign policy, and the place of the liberal arts in professional military education.
  • The Socratic Society. A joint intellectual venture between St. John’s and the USNA, the Socratic Society is a collective project intended to bring Johnnies and midshipmen together in conversation and Aristotelian friendship. Meetings comprise a shared meal followed by conversation and exchange about a classic text, one that brings together abiding philosophical questions central to both institutions.
  • Summer reading groups. Midshipmen, Ramsay Fellows from Australia, and Graduate Institute students participate in a summer reading group sponsored by the Ramsay Centre.
  • The Greenfield Library and Nimitz Library staff have a reciprocal borrowing agreement that allows faculty from both campuses to borrow from each other. Faculty may borrow up to ten books from the partner institution’s circulating collection at a time, with optional renewals.
  • In 2020, when St. John’s classes went virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the college offered USNA the usage of residence halls for 375 midshipmen. This partnership strengthened the bond between the institutions while allowing for more of the brigade to return to Annapolis amid social-distancing and other pandemic requirements.

Career Development

  • Naval Academy Business Services Division. Since 2019, the Career Development Office has partnered with the USNA’s Business Services Division to offer part-time jobs for Johnnies at the Academy’s retail establishments, coffee shop, and restaurant. For every 250 hours worked, students receive an additional $500 credit toward their tuition. Because federal law prohibits USNA students from gaining outside employment while pursuing their undergraduate degree and commission, this partnership is mutually beneficial for St. John’s and the Naval Academy.
  • Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference. Since at least 2017, St. John’s has sent undergraduate students as delegates to the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference. The mission of the conference is to bring together the best undergraduate minds from around the world to discuss complex modern issues in foreign policy. This experience also serves to develop lasting civil-military relationships among future leaders in the armed forces, government, and private sector.
  • Naval Academy Leadership Conference. Since at least 2018, St. John’s has sent undergraduate and graduate students to the Naval Academy Leadership Conference. This conference brings together midshipmen and students from all over the country to learn about leadership topics relevant to government, business, and academia, as well as the military.
  • The Career Development Office regularly collaborates with the academy on fellowship and scholarship opportunities.