St. John’s College to Face Off Against the U.S. Naval Academy in the 40th Annapolis Cup Presented by PNC

Johnnies have won 31 out of 39 matches against the Midshipmen. Tickets go on sale to the general public March 15.

ANNAPOLIS, MD [March 11, 2024] — The Annapolis Cup presented by PNC returns for the 40th anniversary croquet match between St. John’s College and the U.S. Naval Academy, Saturday, April 13, 2024.

Annapolis Cup-Croquet PNC Logos 2024

“St. John’s College is the third-oldest college in the country, and the Naval Academy is the second-oldest military academy—it’s only fitting that we have been partners for more than 40 years for this one-of-a-kind sporting event in higher education,” says St. John’s College President Nora Demleitner. “It encourages a fantastic level of sportsmanship and comradery between our student bodies.”

“We are excited to continue this unique tradition with St. John’s College and our 28th Company midshipmen who represent the Naval Academy in the annual croquet match,” says Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Yvette Davids. “St. John's and the Naval Academy have been neighbors since our founding, and we value the opportunity to unite each spring to celebrate our similarities, appreciate our differences, and enjoy a friendly game of croquet on the front lawn of St. John’s College. As we celebrate this 40-year anniversary, we look forward to maintaining this special bond for years to come.”

During this milestone anniversary, PNC Bank is celebrating its first year as the presenting sponsor. “We’re proud to support this iconic event and continue our longtime support of St. John’s College,” says Laura Gamble, PNC regional president for Greater Maryland. “The spirit of competition between the Johnnies and the Midshipmen for the Annapolis Cup is legendary and we look forward to a great match.”

Since 1983, Johnnies 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. According to legend, the rivalry began in 1982 when the commandant of the U.S. Naval Academy was speaking with a St. John’s freshman and remarked that the Midshipmen could beat the Johnnies in any sport. “What about croquet?” the Johnnie retorted. He later proposed the match to a group of Midshipmen in the interest of fostering better relations between the schools.

After a two-year hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Naval Academy graciously hosted the Annapolis Cup with St. John’s College for the first time in 2022. The tradition returned to the St. John’s College campus April 15, 2023. The resulting victory for St. John’s brought the overall record to 31 wins for Johnnies and 8 for the Naval Academy’s Midshipmen.

The event will be attended by approximately 4,000 members of the St. John’s, USNA and Annapolis communities. Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday, March 15. Visit for more information.


St. John’s College is the most distinctive liberal arts college in the country due to our interdisciplinary program, in which 200 of the most revolutionary great books from across 3,000 years of human thought are explored in student-driven, discussion-based classes. By probing world-changing ideas in literature, philosophy, mathematics, science, music, history, and more, students leave St. John’s with a foundation for success in such fields as law, government, research, STEM, media, and education. Located on two campuses in two historic state capitals—Annapolis, Maryland, and Santa Fe, New Mexico—St. John’s is the third-oldest college in the United States and has been hailed as the “most forward-thinking, future-proof college in America” by Quartz and as a “high-achieving angel hovering over the landscape of American higher education” by the Los Angeles Times. Learn more at


Founded in 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy today is a prestigious four-year service academy that prepares midshipmen morally, mentally, and physically to be professional officers in the naval service. More than 4,400 men and women representing every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries make up the student body known as the Brigade of Midshipmen. U.S. News and World Report has recognized the Naval Academy as the #5 undergraduate engineering school, #3 liberal arts college, and the #1 public college in 2023. Midshipmen learn from military and civilian instructors and participate in intercollegiate varsity sports and extracurricular activities. They also study subjects such as leadership, ethics, small arms, drill, seamanship and navigation, tactics, naval engineering and weapons, and military law. Upon graduation, midshipmen earn a Bachelor of Science degree in a choice of 26 different subject majors and go on to serve at least five years of exciting and rewarding service as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.


PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit

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MEDIA CONTACT: Sara Luell, Senior Director of Communications and Operations, St. John’s College, sara.luell(at)