New York Military Academy (NYMA), the 126-year-old boarding school that counted Donald Trump and John Gotti Jr. among its alumni, was bought for close to $16 million by Chinese investors, The New York Times reports.
The upstate New York military academy abruptly announced its closure in September, amid financial hardship as enrollment numbers continued to dwindle, and it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April.
The Research Center on Natural Conservation, the nonprofit organization that bought NYMA, is run by a group of Chinese investors who have pledged to keep the building open as a high school.
The group’s president is Vincent Tianquan Mo, the founder of a Chinese real estate website that owns the former AIG building close to Wall Street, according to the Times.
The closing of NYMA came as a shock to parents and students who were scheduled to begin classes last month.
“When we were supposed to be visiting colleges in the spring, we were visiting high schools,” Jane Opie, the mother of a rising senior who was set to attend NYMA, told The Times in September. “My son is angry. He’s still angry.”
NYMA was originally an all-boys’ school but went coeducational in 1975. It has been host to numerous famous alumni in addition to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and organized mafia boss John A. Gotti.
Acclaimed director Francis Ford Coppola – a household name for his directorial success of “The Godfather” – attended NYMA, as did renowned musical composer Stephen Sondheim.
Trump has talked about his high-school alma mater on numerous occasions during his presidential campaign.
“I can tell you that one of the great choices I ever made in terms of success is the choice of going to NYMA,” Trump told CNN in September. “I loved it. It was terrific training. It was tough, but it was good.”
He has also spoken about the focus and refinement NYMA provided in the past. “I wasn’t the most well-behaved person in the world, and my parents had no idea what to do with me, and they heard about this school that was a tough place and they sent me up to New York Military Academy and it was really a great experience for me,” Trump told CNN in a 2005 interview.
His vocal support of the school is provided hope to alumni of the school that Trump would “be a rescuing angel and provide the $13 million the school needs to pay creditors and other costs,” according to The Times. However, he did not make a bid for the school at the bankruptcy auction.