Newport's Naval War College is the oldest educational institution of its kind. On 6 October 1884 Secretary of the Navy William Chandler issued a General Order officially establishing the college. However, eighteen months earlier at Newport, a meeting took place which has been referred to by one naval historian as "the keel laying of the War College". This was the first session of the Newport Branch of the United States Naval Institute and the speaker was Commodore Stephen B. Luce. With it, Luce began intensive efforts to improve the professionalism of the Navy's officer corps by establishing a naval school for the study of war, to be located at Newport, Luce's favorite seaport.
Wadleigh, John R.
"Laying the Keel of the Naval War College,"
Newport History: Vol. 56:
191, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.salve.edu/newporthistory/vol56/iss191/3