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An Old Military Academy on Long Island

EDUCATION HAS BEEN one of the long-standing traditions of the Christian faith, as has service, and what better expression of education and service is there than the Catholic military school. La Salle Military Academy in Oakdale, L.I. was just one of these institutions, founded by the de la Salle Christian Brothers in 1883. The school was actually founded here in Westchester as the Westchester Institute, but moved in 1926 to Indian Neck Hall on Long Island, built by F.G. Bourne (whose upsate shack was Singer Castle on Dark Island) and once one of the largest estates on the Island. The main building was a 110-room mansion overlooking Great South Bay, designed by Ernest Flagg who, coincidentally, was responsible much of the Naval Academy at Annapolis including the great chapel containing the tomb of John Paul Jones, sometime admiral of the United States and Imperial Russian navies.

The setting proved attractive to many wealthy Catholic families of New York and New England and elsewhere in the United States, who sent their sons to La Salle. Among its graduates are a number of congressmen, governors, and even a Latin American dictator. However, the popularity of military education waned during the latter half of the twentieth century and, while other northeastern academies like Valley Forge and New York Military Academy managed to stay the course, La Salle had dropped its military ethos in the mid-1990’s and lacked a fundamental vision. The school closed in 2001; another name to add to the long list of defunct American military schools and – much like Governors Island and the Seventh Regiment Armory – yet another sign of the fading appreciation for the living military heritage of the Empire State.

The 175-acre campus was sold to St. John’s University (interestingly, the only officially Catholic university in all of New York; all others went private so as to be able to accept Federal funding, though their boards usually remain in religious control), which then sold it on to a labor union for use as a conference and training center.

A La Salle student newspaper.

Above: one of the main buildings. Below: three satellite views of the Oakdale campus, from Google Maps.

This post was published on Wednesday, July 19th, 2006 12:56 pm. It has been categorised under History Military New York.
  1. 20 July 2006
    4:47 pm

    I am happy to report that the Benedictines are still defending Aurora, Illinois quite well at Marmion Abbey and Military Academy.

  2. Old Dominion Tory
    24 July 2006
    9:29 am

    Benedictine High School in Richmond, Virginia also carries on the military tradition in Catholic secondary education.

  3. Dewey Yee
    29 July 2006
    11:36 pm

    Dear Mr. Cusack:

    I graduated from LaSalle MA in 1970 and reading you article brought back so many wonderful memories. thanks you for this.


  4. Torrey Hines
    3 August 2006
    11:41 am

    I attended LSMA from 1983-1987. I was shocked that the school was closed in 2001. I have many fond memories of La Salle and this article was very interesting as well as exciting to me!

  5. alfred l. moniot
    24 August 2006
    3:15 pm

    Shame to see the place go!
    LSMA Class of ’62; fmr LCDR, MC, USNR; retired Radiologist.
    from SMdA, Gto., MX

  6. Carl H. Pazos
    27 August 2006
    1:38 pm

    I attended LSMA from 1952-1956 (LSMA Class of ’56). I have many nostalgic memories of La Salle and this article brought me back to my early years, when life was a wonderful promise.

    Thank you for the article!

  7. rafael I. piedrahita
    8 September 2006
    1:49 pm

    I went to LSMA in 1939 for two years, until 1941. I was 13 at the time. My brother, Javier, also was a cadet and graduated in 1941. We were sent from Colombia and both are living in Medellin. You really brought so many memories and I thank you for that.

  8. Frances Smith
    11 September 2006
    4:19 pm

    Yes, what nostalgia. I was living on Dale Drive, formerly West Street, formerly Chicken Street, and rode my horse all over the borders & woods of the Academy. I can still remember the rhododendrums so thick throughout the woods, the boys on parade daily,
    and my horse getting stuck up to the belly in muck near the east border.
    What a fright! I’ve remembered it til this day just as if it were yesterday.
    We used to sit and watch the regimental parades on their parade days. Great memories.

  9. John McGuire
    14 October 2006
    11:32 am

    I went to La Salle from from 1970-1971. It was a life changing experience and I was curious if there is any online school info from those years.

    John McGuire

  10. jason barra
    10 November 2006
    9:04 am

    I attended LSMA 88-92. Some of the best years of my life! I was very upset when the school closed down. It’s a shame that my kids won’t have the opportunity to attend.

  11. Ken Koehler
    10 November 2006
    10:43 am

    Thank you for the posting and the photos. The life skills learned there stay with us forever. It is a shame that future generations will be deprived of such experiences. LSMA class of 1976

  12. 10 November 2006
    10:55 am


    Thanks for the wonderful article. I graduated from the Academy in 1988, and currently serve as its alumni association president. While a lot of my brethren sincerely wish the academy was still in operation, the AA focus is on nurturing the bonds that were made by and between our alumni and hosting events designed to facilitate that ideal. I would ask any alums, former faculty, administrators, or employees of LSMA to visit our site,, and thanks again for recognizing a great institution, and its all too early demise.


  13. 10 November 2006
    11:00 am


    Thanks for the article on our late, great Alma Mater. It brings back some fond memories.

    Alums, please be sure to check out the website:

    George Gelish, Class of ’74
    Alumni Webmaster

  14. Former Cadet
    15 November 2006
    10:34 pm

    La Salle was never the “Westchester Institute”. The Westchester Institute was another school independenat of La Salle. When founded in 1883, LSMA was originally called “Sacred Heart” until military instruction and new name were introduced a few years later. That new name was “Clason Point Military Academy” and the school was located at Clason Point in the Bronx. Clason Point M.A. moved to Oakdale around 1910 and immediately changed its name to La Salle Military Academy.

    I’m surprised all the former cadets neglected to comment on this.

  15. 4 January 2007
    11:17 pm

    If anyone who attended La Salle or lived in Oakdale would like to donate old pictures or stories of Oakdale & La Salle, please feel free to forward them on to me for inclusion in the site at

    Thanks in advance!

  16. pete drower
    22 April 2007
    11:40 am

    I attended from 61-65 and I visited the campus yesterday. Sad to see most of the place deteriorating . They are keeping up the ground floor of the mansion for weddings but most of the place is shut up. St Joseph’s is now an”au pair” training facility.

    Can anyone remember what the building next to the library was used for. I have no recollection of ever being in it.

  17. Nancy Bourne Swan
    25 April 2007
    4:25 pm

    I am a great granddaughter of Frederick G.Bourne and would love pictures of the Oakdale Estate. My sister will be coming down soon for a visit and I hope someone will be able to show her around.
    There is a lot of history there.
    Thank you so much,
    Nancy Bourne Swan

  18. 30 April 2007
    2:32 pm

    I graduated in 1984 and operate the La Salle Rifles alumni association website. Thanks for the trip down memory lane….


  19. Mario Aguero
    18 June 2007
    11:40 pm

    La Salle’s demise, in my opinion, is more than anything a sign of the state of the Church today, Her religious orders, and the crisis of Faith in general.

    Many high school military academies continue to operate at a profit today and attract many students, both men and women. Many have no religious affiliation. All of them share something in common: preserve traditions and the vision. La Salle was unique in that sense: it was military and Catholic, a reflection of European hierarchical society located on Great South Bay.

    I attended La Salle Military Academy from 1978 to 1982. I would never exchange those years for anything in the world. Yet even then, fellow students and I could see the small “cracks in the armor” that eventually widened and led to the schools folding.

    Traditions were discarded: daily Mass, once mandatory for the cadet, became an option. Student retreats had little contemplation or actual prayer. Religious formation in the classroom was replaced by a “Faculty Advisory Period” where any subject could be brought up. Many military traditions were discarded as well, particularly living by company rather than by class. Easier, more comfortable uniforms replaced the dress gray, and the list goes on.

    The De La Salle Brothers, who ran the school, were undergoing a vocational and religious crisis. That was the opinion of some brothers with whom I’ve maintained contact over the years. Many of the younger brothers in that provincial lost their vocations; many of our lay teachers were former brothers. I learned of these things as time went on, particularly after we graduated.

    Eventually the school’s vision blurred as well. I guess we can’t blame the brothers entirely — they did what they could. Many are fine men, dedicated to education and excellence. Yet perhaps as their religious regimen as a community failed, so did the school. There were financial problems that also factored in the closing.

    In a world which is increasingly post-Christian, where discipline, faith and ethics are sneered and jeered at, it is sad to consider that La Salle Military Academy, a bulwark against many of the non-values the world embraces today, is no longer with us. Thank God we still our fellow alumni. Saint John Baptist de la Salle, Pray for us. Live Jesus in our Hearts, forever.

  20. Nancy Impastato
    5 July 2007
    9:20 pm

    My father-in-law attended Clason Military Academy in the 1920’s. Does anyone know where it was located at Clason Point? I’ve been driving around and can’t find anything. Please email me at I have a photo of his class.

  21. 30 July 2007
    6:42 pm


    JOE MILEA’74

  22. Gerald Earl Harris
    9 August 2007
    2:38 pm

    I Graduated with a New York State High School Diploma and a U.S. Army Junior ROTC Military Training Certificate from La Salle Military Academy in Oakdale, Long Island, New York on June 4, 1976 as a Battalion Cadet 2nd Lieutenant. I was the Commanding Officer of the La Salle Rifles Drill Team Company who Won 2 Man, Squad, Platoon, and Overall Armed Trick Drill 1st Place Trophies in the 1976 Manhattan and Greater New York High School Drill Team Championships which was the best experience of my life.

  23. Diego F. uribe
    25 August 2007
    9:37 pm

    I attended LSMA from 1954 to 1957. I still live in Medellín Colombia. My greetings to my fellow clasmates

  24. Stephen McGiff
    19 September 2007
    10:56 pm

    Thanks for the memories. I would have to agree with my classmate Mario, in that the demise of LSMA can be attributed to a loss of mission and faith. I knew the jig was up when it became a “global learning community”; more Moonie camp than Catholic school.

    I am thankful for the sacrifices made by my parents to send me there, and to the Christian Brothers who educated me. Fordham and St Johns Law may have educated me, but LSMA formed me.


  25. Robert Egan
    31 October 2007
    9:38 pm

    The little time I spent with my classmates and on campus are on forgettable and wonderful times which will always be cheerished in my memory. Those might have seemed hard times to me but were wonderful times. Thanks to mom and dad for giving me those two good years.

    Robert class of 74

  26. jim lewis
    17 November 2007
    6:52 pm

    Is there a way I can get in touch with Nancy Bourne Swan? I have a couple of photographs of Indian Neck Hall that would be of interest to her.
    Jim Lewis

  27. 24 December 2007
    10:01 am

    My days at La Salle were some of the most memorable times of my life. I met good, life long friends, learned a lot and shared great experiences that have helped to shape and guide my life.

    Both the religious aspects taught by the Christian Brothers and military discipline (taught by US Army personnel) learned at La Salle helped to make my future college studies and my tour of duty in the US Navy much more rewarding experiences.

    Living on such an awesome campus (day and night) through High School was such a unique and special experience. I don’t think that anyone other than fellow LSMA cadets can truly understand or appreciate what that experience meant, or how tight the bonds are that were formed between friends in those four years. We shared the good and the bad together and were happy and sad together as well. Now 30+ years later, many of us are still close and are more like brothers than just friends. I have no doubt that all classes feel the same closeness with their fellow cadet classmates.

    Long live that line of gray!!

    Live Jesus in our hearts!

    Paul T. Fortunato – Class of 1974

  28. Derron H. Blackshear
    11 January 2008
    3:56 pm

    I cannot help but agree with Robert E. I spend alot of time reliving my days at LaSalle. And there are times I wish I could go back and live those days all over, they were “BEST OF MY LIFE”. I also would like to thank my mother and father for the opportunity to attend L.S.M.A.
    To all the friends I made and the alumni, you will live in my heart forever. Gotta go now I’m getting some water in my eyes.

    Bless you all,
    Derron H. Blackshear class of ’74

  29. Kathryn Palma Olson
    26 January 2008
    1:10 pm

    I am so happy to have found this web site! We are looking at boarding schools for our son, Christopher, Jr. & I am very curious about what happened to LaSalle. My father, David F. Palma, Jr. graduated from LaSalle. His brothers Joseph & William graduated from LaSalle also. William’s sons, Bill, Ed, Lawrence, & John were also graduates of LaSalle. I would love to know what happened to this Military Academy & what is the property used for now?

  30. 11 March 2008
    7:49 am
  31. Eugene Bessette
    3 April 2008
    11:11 am

    I agree with the first paragraph above, so I will try to be as factual as possible.
    Similiar to the vast majority of other people, I’ve had hard years; the two years I was at La Salle were amoung the worst. I was in the 7th and 8th grades while I was there. The 7th grade Christian Brother, had he treated children today as he treated us, would be serving a term in jail, based on newspaper articles I’ve read. My uncle warned my mother, before I was sent there, that the Christan Brothers were ham-handed in dicipline; true in several cases. To be fair, some of the other brothers were fine men and kind to me. The majority of the kids in those grades were the some of the meanest and worst bullies I’ve encountered. La Salle was where I learned that military academies are in part reform schools.
    Obviously, the school was very beneficial to many of the students; I don’t understand how. The above wasn’t meant as a rant; I tried to be objective. How many postings has this site received from former students who hated the school? I’ll be surprised if my post is put on this site.

  32. Melaina Minutoli
    5 April 2008
    3:00 am

    I spent the most menorable summers of my life on that campus. LaSalle was a summer day camp from late June to late August. I attended with my sisters for years, and later as a teen I worked there. I will always hold these memories as my best. I also spent a bit of time there with a boy named Michael Costello. I went to many dances there with him. 79-80? I have many photos and wonderful stories!

  33. George Arias
    28 September 2008
    9:38 pm

    I had a great time at LaSalle and these are times that I will never forget. While the school is not there anymore the momories will live within all of the graduates.

    Class of 1975

  34. GINA
    17 November 2008
    6:14 pm

    I happened to look up Lasalle because my daughter’s friend said he went there and he is 25. I looked up Good Ole Lasalle in Oakdale Ny and this came up.I wanted to see what year the school closed.
    For the person who asked, LaSalle is now owned by St. John’s College. The grounds are still the same. The big Statue was removed and I think the boathouse is still there but I am not sure what they use it for.
    My grandmother worked @ Lasalle for thity years and before she died one of the boys who graduated from there won a Chinese Auction they had.He named a Street sign on the property after her because everytime he came to visit she was still working there.That sign is now on our bulk head at our house.”Connie Smith Drive” She worked there until the last day of her life. That was her second home. She died 3 days before Christmas (1994)and one of the brothers did her service @ the Funeral home. I put all the flowers from the funeral home around her street sign and the brothers who saw it thought that was great. They later had a special mass for her at the school chapel which her family went to. I used to go there because of the parades and just because it was around the block from where I lived.I too got to work there in the cafeteria. I mean what young girl wouldn’t have loved LaSalle. All the handsome boys!!! It is still little old Oakdale the ghosttown. No more bowling alley or movie theatre in the shopping center across the street. There is a new grocery and a Wendy’s. The movie theatre is used for theatre plays. I miss hearing the marching band drums from there. I think in our attic we have about thirty years of yearbooks that my grandmother kept. I don’t know if my aunt will dig them out for me but I just wanted to share that Lasalle Military Academy was a special time and place and I am so glad my Grandmother had the brothers and boys as her extended family and I really miss those days …. Thanks to all who were nice to my Nana. She was the best and loved you guys! If Sal Randazzo is out there somewhere tell him that Connie’s granddaughter, Gina was wondering how he was doin!!! Alex if you are out there I hope you to are well! And God Bless Reno Monteforte. I still have his mass card May he RIP.
    Well thanks for letting me chat away. I miss those days and that wonderful time. It is a shame it doesn’t exist today! Some of the kids today really could use the discipline and structure of school and being away from home.
    Well take care!! Maybe oneday I will get to talk to some of my old friends!!

  35. Brendan Gilrane
    8 December 2008
    10:31 pm

    wow Gina, you really brought back some memories. Was your nana one of the ladies at the PX ? I played on the soccer team with Reno, he was a great kid from a nice family. I was in his brother Frankie’s class 87. I remember when Reno died, we all wore a band on our arms on the field to remember him. Coach Timo really liked him as did the rest of the team. I can picture him cruisin in that white sports car he had. I was in Sal Randazzo’s class as well. I havn’t been back to oakdale since I left 21 years ago. I got a sick feeling in my stomach when i heard it closed. I wasn’t the best cadet for sure, third from last in my class I think, kinda lucky to graduate really, but I did like being there, there was a pride that I’m not sure I would have had somewhere else. My fondest memory was being on the soccer field for a mid week home game. When the flag was coming down and the cadets were lined up in formation on company street, the refs would stop the game and we would all face the flag with hand on heart. The other teams didn’t seem to get it but damn I sure was proud of that.

  36. Andrew M. D'Amico
    16 January 2009
    3:34 pm

    I had a great time at LSMA and will never forget my fellow classmates and the friendships that were established during those year. I was the Capt of the La Salle Rifles the year it was formed as a company, what an experience. Fond memories that will never be forgotten.

    Class of 1965

  37. Ella Hae-yeon Sung
    27 January 2009
    2:40 pm

    Thank you for posting this blog with phtoos. This brings me so many memories from my high school days. Even though I transferred to another school on my second year, I will never forget all the memories that I had at La Salle.


  38. Angelo Trezza
    3 March 2009
    5:07 am

    I was at LSMA only for one month on an international program to learn the english language. In that month I had the privilege to meet a lot of friends from all over the world, good teachers and the Christian Brothers as brother Paul and brother Nicholas. I shared experiences that helped me to aproach my life in a diferent way. It was disapointing to hear that the academy disapeared.

  39. 17 March 2009
    9:39 pm

    There is an interesting article with illustrations in the Feb. 09 issue of The American Organistmagazine about Frederick Bourne’s fabulous mansion, Indian Neck Hall built in Oakdale, Long Island and the organ he had installed in the ballroom. It was the largest Aeolian Organ ever built. Aelolian made it’s fortune selling residence organs to the rich and famous of the day in the early 20th century.The article is by Rollin Smith, a New York musical historian who has written extensively on the subject of organs, composers and performers. He has been residence organist at the Frick Collection in New York City.
    In the 1960s I copied out the stop specification of the organ from the defunct player console in the library at Oakdale. In the 1990s when I was director of St Dunstan’s College Conference on Sacred Music in Newport, I gave the papers to recitalist, Gordon Turk when he told me Rollin Smith was doing research on the Oakdale organ. Smith used my notes in this current article.
    My memory of the ballroom/chapel was that it had decent accoustics but a miserable Hammond perched in the small gallery overlook in the back of the room. Of course, it was back in the day before the miracle of digital instruments.

  40. Thomas D.Powers, LSMA '51
    21 March 2009
    1:41 am

    I had some time to “kill” so I got on the computer and decided to search out LSMA and found this great piece of work loaded with memories.
    I can honestly say that the most formative part of my life was the four years at Oakdale. Upon graduation in ’51 I enlisted in the Army for three years. When I took Basic at Ft. Dix with the 39 Inf Regt I was very aprehensive about it, having heard all those horror stories from the WW 2 Vets. While the physcical exertion was difficult I found the dicipline end of “boot camp” a piece of cake compared to LSMA. I remember commenting to some of my GI buddies when they would complain, that they didnt have a clue as what real Chicken S%&t was like. I wound up my three year enlistment stationed in Wash. D.C. by way of 16 months in combat in Korea. This was followed by a 55 year career in Banking that started with assignments repossessing cars in Harlem and Bed Stuy. It ended abruptly in January of this year with being laid off as a result of “job elimination” Not a happy ending career wise but hey, I milked it for more than a half of a century. Between Social Security and unemployment compensation I will keep me and the wife in Beer and pretzels.

    What I want to say now, as I approach my 76th Birthday, is that the years at La Salle was where, for better or for worse, I was formed. I get somewhat emotional when I reflect back on those four years. I have lived through combat, the death of my only son, two marriages, Sept 11th where my oldest daugther Terry had do go 47 flights of stairs in her stocking feet to hit the ground floor and get out with only five minutes befor it came down. I have had to face my short comings and realize that some of my decisions/actions were more self serving (selfish actually !)than they should have been.

    But through it all I have always been able to look at my self and admit when I screwed up and move into damage control mode. La Salle made all of us Realist’s. You can call your self an optimist or a pessimist, but when push comes to shove you know who and what you are. I dont know about the rest of you, but for my part, I am at peace with myself and ready for the twilight. La Salle formed all of us. I thank my parents, my fellow Cadets, the “monks”,and the good LORD above for all of it.

    May God bless each and everyone of you. And you guys from the class of ’51…”Stay loose, the best is yet to come…remember you guys, when one door closes the good Lord opens another one.”

    Your all in my prayers, “every day !”

    Tom Powers

  41. chris henry
    11 July 2009
    9:03 pm

    I attended LSMA 1961-1965 and have many fond memories.I revisited the campus in 2000, just before the official closing the next year.The place was starting to show it’s age.
    Saw a comment from Pete Drower, would sure like to hear from

  42. Guy Bernice
    5 August 2009
    6:20 pm

    I was a student at La Salle, class of 1999. Probobly the last graduating class before the school was sold. My Uncle Brother Nicholas Picciano was also a Chritian Brother and lived most of his life on the La Salle Oakdale campus. He beleived that the school could have been saved and so did I.
    I would like to start an organization to fund the purchase of the school back. It is such a wonderful place to learn with fond memories for everyone that ever stepped foot on the campus. I as well as many alumni wish that they could send their children to school here. We feel that we can make it happen.

  43. 28 August 2009
    8:34 pm

    Nice to revisit this page and see comments from some of my classmates.

    While LSMA was an important part of my youth I don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about it. I’m not a guy who longs for the days of his youth all that much. I’m much happier at this stage of my life.

    I would say on the whole LSMA was a good experience, particularly educationally. I would also have to agree that, for better or worse, it formed me to the person I am today. In spite of myself I do indeed feel bound to that “Long Gray Line.”

    While Guy has a nice thought(and he is not alone amont the alumni in his dream) of buying the property and reinventing LSMA, I wonder how realistic it is. IMHO the decline of LSMA parallels the decline of the Christian Brothers. The whole economic model of the school was based on most of the labor being done by brothers who worked essentially for room and board. As the pool of available brothers dwindled and aged, this economic model was no longer viable. Therefore even if you bought the property, you probably couldn’t afford to staff it properly.

    LSMA was a great school in its day but all things, alas, must pass. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.

  44. 2 September 2009
    12:50 am

    I attended Lasalle from 1967-1971 and have always had great memories of those days at LSMA. I was part of the LaSlle Rifles and the Drama club. It was really a great time. I look forward to hearing from any classmates or any graduates from that era. Regards to all!

    Louis Hurtado
    Class of “71”

  45. 13 September 2009
    9:50 am

    It’s great to see this here. memorizing some early year memories!! thanks!!

  46. Tom Giamboi
    5 October 2009
    9:08 pm

    graduated in 1974. i posted many pics from 1973 and 74 on Facebook. look me up at and add me as a friend on Facebook.

  47. Tom Cromer
    12 October 2009
    2:21 pm

    LaSalle Academy was a pivotal change in my life. I remember Gerald Harris, Michael Mays, Jeff Gordon among others. I remember Brother Willie Mann as Commandant of Cadets – strang fellow.
    What I remember most was the discipline and focus that was commanded of everyone to do their best – which has stuck with me all my life.
    I have often visited the campus and clearly visualize where I used to stand on the parade grounds and where I ate in the mess hall. As recently as last year, the school hallway is still the same with the same carpeting in good condition – its amazing!
    I often have tried to bring my son to the school to see and only once got him to do so. Now, at 19, he is off to UCLA – never more interested in what once was. I guess he now has his own past.
    I cherish every memory and am thankful that I was one of the few that attended and graduated from this school – despite all the interesting challenges that were put before me.

  48. LtCol Peter J. Graham, USMCR
    17 October 2009
    7:29 pm

    I attended LSMA for my freshman and sophomore year 1972-1974. I have nothing but great memories of Lasalle and the great education I received. My brother Paul was there for his freshman year. I went on to serve in the Marines and my brother Paul served in the Navy.

    I was in D Company and the D&B Company as best I can recollect- Brother William Mann was the prefect of D Company. If any of the following read this I would like to hear from them and anyone else who was a part of my LSMA memories: George Daniels, Jim DiCarlo, Frank Cannon, Takoa Yamada, John Dagher, Joe Spilabotte, and John Roe…..

    Thanks for the aeriel photo…I can remember the well-worn path to the beach to get sand for one of my many screw-ups.

  49. Luis R. Contreras, LSMA '79 - '83
    22 November 2009
    5:06 pm

    What can I say about the academy that hasn’t been said before. It was a fine institution whose lessons taught, if accepted, would never be lost over time. Reading over the various posts bought back a lot of old memories, both good and bad. Yes, it was a tough institution which one was not protected by their parents and one had to find his way in order to prosper and survive. Yes, there were bullies, and yes, some of the brothers were less than what one would expect. But that is key. It was one’s expectations that would mold your experience whilst there. Therefore my post is more of a response to those who would negatively portray LaSalle as an institution.

    As I said before, bullies and less than adequate teachers were to be found at that institution. So what did that mean? In a roundabout way, you were given a sample of what the world would offer: are there not bullies and people who would fail to meet your standards in the real world? But in that environment, you would learn to deal with these issues that would arise in your adult life. You were also taught the consistency of discipline, as well as the value of independent thought. You learned to be able to work with people from various cultural backgrounds, and although at the time it’s importance and value may have been lost to one’s youthful consciousness, it nevertheless exposed us to the multicultural spectrum that the globe offers as others at the time may not have been able to have been exposed or may have sadly not wanted to due to racist or xenophobic feelings. Their loss.

    One cannot also argue about the quality of education received. The Teacher/Student ration (1:15 if memory serves me correctly) ensured that we were given the attention necessary to be able to compete with others in a global sense. When one looks at the state of public eduction today or the general apathy demonstrated by today’s collegians regarding subjects outside of their sphere of interest {usually politics (local/domestic/geopolitical), science, and civil service} one must thank an institution like LaSalle who exposed one to all these disciplines and more. We left with a more well rounded educational and social basis to build from than others.

    I know my experience at LaSalle has helped me as a man.As fortune would have it, I eventually did join the military, rose through the ranks and would see duty in far distant lands (culminating in a tour of duty in Iraq – OIF III). I’ve seen the birth of a nation and been there for their first elections. I have led men under combat conditions, dealt with situations that I am sure most people never deal with. I have had to overcome language and cultural barriers in order to work with the Iraqis. And although the Army taught me the lessons and skills I needed to do my job, the foundation and basis for all of my success were the lessons and experiences that I was given at LaSalle.

    It is sad to see a great institution as such end. But my friends, as with empires, nothing lasts forever.

  50. Baarbara Carroll
    23 January 2010
    11:16 pm

    I’d like to say hello to all my fellow staff members as well as my former students. I hope all of you are well. I’v been teaching fourth grade at a private school in Westhampton since the close of LaSalle in 2001 and loving it. I now have four grandchildren ranging in age from seventeen to eighteen months. They are a joy.

    I will always remember the special days at LaSalle when the entire school would get together, break up into groups, and participate in fun activities. Also, I remember the student/staff Broadway fashion show we put on, directed by the parents. Lots of fun.

    Keep well.
    Barbara Carroll,
    Fourth Grade Teacher, ’95-’01

  51. Mike Mannion
    13 May 2010
    7:41 pm

    Thanks for the article,I attended LSMA all four year and graduated in 76,Although La Salle was not the only influence in my life,it was certainly that one that made me the man I am today.I moved to Texas after graduation and do not get back much,so its nice to relive some fond memories.Thanks
    Mike Mannion 76
    Go Long Horn’s

  52. Pierce Lennon
    11 July 2010
    5:04 pm

    My uncle Brother Brendan (James Lannnon) was a Christian Brother at the academy in Oakdale for many years. He was principal in the early 1940’s as I remember seeing copies of the year books when I was growing up in the 50’s in Co Kilkenny in Ireland the birthplace of Brother Brendan who was born in 1895. I would like to hear from someone who remembers him at the academy. I remember my father receiving a letter in the 1950’s advising that he had died.

  53. ZEPADA
    18 July 2010
    3:10 am

    1980 .. graduation year, maybe one of the best years of my life. It is a shame it does not exit anymore, because
    I have always brag about *LA SALLE M.A.* and I will always do. HELLO TO ALL MY CLASSMATES, AND I’AM SURE THAT I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU ALL.

  54. Gilberto Garza Hawit
    28 November 2010
    1:16 am

    Sad a treasure such as LSMA was closed in 2001.
    A friend of mine gave me the bad news.

    I left LA SALLE in 1985 but I keep with me all those memories of good friends,Brothers, and…food (not so good,but I wouldn’t mind to eat there again) play a little ”pac man” in the Boat House…etc… too bad all of us who attended LSMA no matter when.. never knew the situation of the school in order to do something for it.
    The system of education we had…(Knowledge,discipline,order,spirituality,friendship) is already extinct….

    God Bless you all…..

  55. Jeffrey Lane
    30 November 2010
    6:13 pm

    I worked at the LaSalle International Study Center
    on weekends from 1980 to 1983.
    I also lived there full-time from 1983 to 1989.
    I’d love to know more about the students from the
    International Study Center (La Salle Hall) …that’s the building next to the Library someone was wondering about.

  56. Pierce Lennon
    22 January 2011
    8:18 pm

    I submitted details of my uncle Brother Brendan, who was on the staff in the 1940’s, on the 11th July 2010 and was surprised not to have received any information. Surely there is a De La Salle house in the US where I could get some information.

    Pierce Lennon
    8 Dunmore Park

  57. 23 April 2011
    8:24 pm

    To the Class of 1961 as you are about to celebrate your Fifty year aniversary. And to my class mates, (class of ’51)as we celebrate our Sixty Year anniversary:

    May God Bless all of you and keep you safe.

    And as I said before, THE BEST IS YET TO COME !

    Tom Powers,
    LSMA, “51

  58. Joe Gathartd
    30 April 2011
    6:53 pm

    LaSalle was a great time in my life 1967-1971. The life learning experiences made for myself and my classmates a stronghold that can never be matched. The Class of 71′ was the largest class to graduate and still holds the Spirit of Corps that will live with us forever.
    God Bless.
    Joe Gathard 71′

  59. Kevin Leary
    13 July 2011
    7:07 pm

    I attended LaSalle Military Academy for two years, freshman and sophomore years, 1976 to 1978. Many fond memories as well, member of the Drum and Bugle Corp.

  60. Brother Joseph Brienza, FSC
    27 July 2011
    3:09 am

    After reading all the comments posted on this web site my thought was what a tribute to a remarkable place for adolescent school boys. The magic of LSMA is rooted in what most people said in their comments. It was a place that encouraged friendship, team work and spirituality. It was a time to explore ones gifts and talents.
    The Brothers that I had the privilege to live in community at LSMA were caring men that helped adolescent boys mature into extraordinary men. The best way to describe LSMA is that it was an “experience” so that words cannot fully capture LSMA.
    There is no perfect or utopian place on earth but LSMA made an attempt to help adolescent school boys dream about what the future might be like for them and search for it.
    God bless all our LSMA graduates. Despite the fact that LSMA does not exist please remember you are not forgotten because you live in our La Sallian family. May Jesus live in your heart and the hearts of your family.
    Brother Joseph Brienza,FSC

  61. 10 September 2011
    11:17 am

    LSMA is ones of the oldest academies; it used to provide the best training to the aspirates. Although it does not exists today but has been renowned for its spiritual and faithful training offered here. Rigorous fitness activities helped youths to get best training. People, looking for more information on military schools for teenagers can visit this site.

  62. Orlando Paredes
    20 October 2011
    9:21 pm

    I attended L.S.M.A. from 1979 to 1982, It was the best education I received, apart from the memories I took with me. I was really sad that such a fine institution as La Salle Military Academy had to close. All the experiences I had at LSMA have served me up to this day.

  63. Michael Lonergan
    3 November 2011
    11:13 pm

    I graduated from LSMA in June 1973. I miss many of the friends I had there during my four year. The brothers were and continue to be an inspiration to me as an adult. No matter how bad we were….no matter how many mistakes a teenage boy made, each and every brother told us they loved us, and by example demonstrated the essence of christian belief…forgivness and love. For that I will never forget them..or La Salle Military Academy.

    Mike Lonergan

  64. Natalie Gawdiak
    22 January 2012
    8:28 pm

    Excuse a stupid question: was LSMA “just” a high school?
    I know of one cadet who was 20 years old when he graduated in the 1930s. He apparently graduated with a commission as a second lieutenant…

    Thanks for any information on this point

  65. Walter A. Boylan
    28 January 2012
    7:37 am

    My Father attended La Salle I think he went there from 46 to 52. His name is Walter Edward Boylan, he was from Queens, NY., his father was also named Walter. If there is anyone out there that may have known him, please send me an email. He is still alive and lives in Florida. He does not use computers and leads a pretty sheltered existance. I live in South Carolina. He talked fondly of going to school there, of course the Brothers and Sisters were tough. I think he may have played basketball, he did some art work too. Wish I had a pic to post. He does have some of his year books but his graduation picture has been destroyed. Thanks for your time. God Bless all of you.

  66. carlos correa
    25 February 2012
    1:57 am

    i was on canpus 80s it was a wonderful time, and great´s experience thanks for all that i got.

  67. matthew simpson
    11 March 2012
    12:36 am

    I graduated from LSMA in 86 and can only say that it was a tremendous place to come of age. The campus was magnificent , the spirituality of the experience was life changing , I cannot say how truely sad I am that I cannot offer this to my children. Only those that were there can appreciate what I say.

  68. william b schreiber '43
    20 April 2012
    7:59 pm

    To- Peirce Lennon I remember Brother Brendan, as he was superintendent of La Salle, at the time I was there (1939-1943). I remember that he dispenced our report cards every week in class. It was good incentive to strive harder., He, though cheerful, was a no- nonsense kind of guy.He did a good job and he loved his vittles

    It brings back great memories of glorious and exciting days
    Regards, Bill Schreiber ’43


  69. william b schreiber '43
    20 April 2012
    8:13 pm

    To Natlalie Gawdiak Your question about a direct commission in U.S. army from La Salle is true providing, you completed 4 yrs. at La Salle, and in your junior year you spent 6 wks at the National Guard camp at Plattsburg, NY for advanced training, After 1942, this commissioning was stopped, and instead you were allowed to go to Officers Candidate School in order to obtain a commission. P,S. very few were able to pass. In my opinion, it was because they were too young and inexperienced Bill Schreiber ’43

  70. Don Irving
    10 May 2012
    10:00 pm

    I graduated from LSMA in 1968. I have always had fond memories of my years there. I can’t remember what I did last year but I could give a good accounting of my years at LaSalle.

  71. catherine szabo
    1 July 2012
    7:20 pm

    Ny father, Francis Joseph Guarino attended LaSalle 1944-1947. I have 1944-1947 year books, Lasalle hat and many pictures. Is there a place to share these?

  72. Peter Aboud
    24 July 2012
    11:53 pm

    Graduated in ’81, the best decision my parents made was sending me there. It was so sad when I found out it had closed, I so wanted to send my sons there to experience what I did.

  73. joseph m fraumeni
    28 July 2012
    7:44 pm

    after all these years i never thought that me and my best friend terry conti (77) last week would be speeding past la salle on the great s bay on my friends spssd boat wow ..yes i hang out in oakdale 2-3 times a week Its almost like i never left but that was thirty years ago The brooklyn boys hated long island (oakdale)but i was in the middle (plandome)so i got the best of both worlds joseph m fraumeni

  74. Mike Allers
    24 October 2012
    11:25 am

    I worked at LaSalle for several years with one of my best friends, Tom Anderson back in the early 80’s. We worked in the kitchen and served the cadets. Being teens ourselves, we often wondered what it would be like to attend LaSalle as students due to the quality of the education and the high expectations established by the brothers. We often talk about our memories of that job – especially the fun we had working for a very unique man named Bob Conners who ran the food service. – Mike Allers

  75. Delvis Valdes
    12 January 2013
    3:59 pm

    As I was browsing the computer seeing the effects of Hurricane Sandy on Long Island I came across Oakdale and that made me think of LSMA, which led me to this article. My thoughts on this school mirror the myriad of comments offered by those above. I attended LSMA between 1983-1986 after the local school that I was attending in Staten Island told my parents that I was not going to graduate from that school.The school was both great and difficult. I remember vividly the sacrifices my parents made to send me there, the separation anxiety and the financial toll, this school was not inexpensive.
    As one of the comments said you came across all types of people from all walks of life at LaSalle. There were those from the inner city, like one of my first roommates who came from the South Bronx and there were those who came from modest backgrounds from manhattan to the end of the island and there were those from the international community who came here from Latin American countries. However, all of these different people had to come together and live under one creed and one regiment.
    While there were bullies and students who when given a little bit of power abused it, the majority were well intended and tried to help others succeed. While there were lay teachers that you wondered if the school even checked to see if they were licensed, the majority of them knew how to engage the students and teach the material, and while there were brothers who seemed to be frustrated with the position in life that they had, the majority of brothers were kind men who truly cared for the cadets, (Brothers Luke, Francis, Robert).
    These senior students, faculty, prefects, and the administration and staff made an experience that was truly unforgettable and difficult to explain in words. I believe it was the fact that we all came together and had to live together for five out of seven nights made us share many different experiences that you would not experience in any other regular school. If you had difficulty in dealing with one person you had better figure out a way to deal with that person because while the campus was huge you surely could not hide from any person or situation.
    LSMA definitely can be called the formative years. You had to learn how to deal with the senior students who ran the military, somewhat like an older brother telling you what to do. You had to deal with the rigors of academics and the afterschool activities and you had to deal with the brothers who acted as surrogate parents to all of the cadets.
    In looking back I clearly remember going thru difficult times at LSMA, perhaps because I was a difficult student to begin with, however I remember those years very fondly now and truly appreciate the education I was provided both academically and socially.
    St. Joseph De La Salle – Pray for us ; Live Jesus in our hearts – Forever.

  76. Gustavo Tudela
    27 January 2013
    3:48 pm

    Just saw the coment from Jeffrey Lane, trying ti get in touch with you for some time now, reply to my e mail

  77. Gustavo Tudela
    27 January 2013
    3:50 pm

    looking for jeffrey lane to remenber good times at the international studies center, and at lsma reply

  78. Michael Cardillo
    3 February 2013
    11:17 pm

    LaSalle will continue to exist as long as there is at least one remaining cadet with memories of that very unique experience. I wish all the members of the Long Grey Line and especially my ’67 classmates, all the best.

  79. 17 March 2013
    2:25 pm

    I graduated from LSMA in 1967. I echo the comments above in that on subsequent visits to LSMA, the lax ad degradation of attention to traditions, formalities, ceremonies, were shocking and collectively caused the ultimate collapse of the Academy as we once knew it. I have continue in the service of this great country as a volunteer Honor Guard Unit Our web address is

    I will always remember the days at LSMA. My best wishes to all.


    Howard Jackson, Class of 1967

  80. Andres Pantin Class '68
    29 March 2013
    3:06 pm

    LSMA was one of the most exciting experiences of my life… my friends, my teachers I miss you all… Don Irving was the first classmate contacted some years ago and late on some more friends contacted… Jose Guillermo Lewis, Celso and Carlos Carbonell, Manuel Ferrer, V. Lombardo… still searching… God Bless all of you! Andres

  81. Heather DiPaola-Maranto
    8 April 2013
    3:09 am

    I spent 5 summers as a camper and 3 as a Canoeing Counselor at Camp La Salle – what fun times! I was sad to hear that the Academy closed but it’s good that St John’s University took it over. The area is absolutely beautiful and I’m sure that it’s being well cared for.
    Thanks to Peggy, who managed the day to day operations at the Camp, for hiring me in 1989 – I haven’t had as much fun on the job since then! May the memories of “The Color Wars” live on!!

  82. Adam aboud
    17 April 2013
    1:58 pm

    The finest years of my life. Thanks to LSMA for the experience, the friendships and the good sound catholic education. Too bad that LSMA is no longer around for my son to experience. It was truly a great institution.
    Adam ’82

  83. Thomas O'Boyle
    12 May 2013
    5:46 pm

    LSMA’s experience has made me the person I am today. Where a handshake means your word and friendship. I only wish there were more unique places like
    LaSalle to bring back the values and respect that is sorely needed in our society today. Thanks Brothers and LaSalle for the solid grounding you gave us to succeed.
    Tom ’75

  84. Dwight Yee, LSMA '75
    12 May 2013
    7:13 pm

    On this mother’s day 2013, I like to thank my hard working-single mother, who came here to America (I believe it was late 40’s early 50’s) on a boat from China, for the wonderful education I received at LaSalle Military Academy.

    Sometime after WWII her father came to America on a boat. He opened a restaurant in the Bronx made some money to bring my mother to America. (1952 to 1996)

    My older brother Dewey (’70) and younger brother Derwin (’75) also attended LSMA because of moms hard work and desire for her children to succeed with the finest education. (Coming from China how did she know about LSMA?)

    Because of her I served with the finest police department in the world – the NYPD. Derwin served as a Pilot in the finest military in the world – the USMC and Dewey attended the finest military academy in the world – the US Naval Academy at Annapolis.

    Oh, and not to forget my sister Delilah who, if she could, would have attended LSMA, however she is married to the finest man – the Police Chief of West Springfield, MA.

    Thanks mom for the education and everything else. Enjoy your painting, relaxing and happy lifestyle in sunny Ocala, Florida. I LOVE YOU

  85. Robert "BJ" Scottland
    13 May 2013
    3:56 am

    A very nice article. it was a very sad day 11 years ago when I had first heard the news that LaSalle had closed its doors forever. The place (my home for 4 years 79′ – 83′) 100th Graduating class of 83′, gave me a foundation of education, street smarts, strength, loyalty, determination, perseverance, spirit, and ethics that has to this day allowed for me to move almost impossible mountains of improbable challenges. I have had to cope with and overcome obstacles recently that I probably would not have had even the most remote chance of overcoming, had I not attended this prestigious and magnificent institution. It allowed me to become a man very early in life, leave home take roots in Miami (play football for the NCAA National Championship football Miami Hurricanes) become an entrepenure at a very young age. It allowed me to navigate all the successes and failures (turn the Lemons into Lemonade) so that those same failures became success stories. I was just a humble student in the early 80’s but with the guidance of my teachers, prefects, classmates at LSMA I am a much richer humble alumni (riches not in wealth but in character) Thank you LSMA

  86. Ken Carlson '86
    14 May 2013
    1:05 am

    La Salle lives in our hearts forever for that’s where it has always lived. Unfortunately sometimes it takes a tragic event like the closing of the school to see the real beauty in it. Having walked the Senior Steps and tossed my cap I joined a group I am proud to call my brothers, and based on the comments they are equally proud. La Salle was a magic place.

  87. Ruben Membreno
    19 May 2013
    5:07 pm

    Thanks for the article and trip down memory lane. I attended La Salle M.A. 1983-85. I came from El Salvador, thanks to my loving parents sacrifice in between a civil-war torn country, I escaped the majority of the communist backed war and received the finest education possible, I have many thanks to the La Salle Bros for the experience and solid education that has helped me survive such trying times until today. I feel nostalgic and sorry that one of the finest institutions in the planet will be dearly missed by future generations. La Salle proudly lives in my heart and soul forever, marked by wonderful experiences and learnings that have been character builders in my life and helped me face adverse challenges and conquer them. Thank you LSMA. God bless the La Salle Christian Bros.

  88. brian colantropo
    29 May 2013
    2:43 am

    what else can i say other than what was already written? after a recent visit to la salle after my 40th reunion, i have decided that when the time comes, i want my ashes spread on the parade field overlooking company street , st joes, and the mansion. this is where my heart is, this is where i belong. forever……..

  89. L.S. Dell
    29 May 2013
    5:49 am

    I attended La Salle for 1 year, 78-79, and although brief
    Being a cadet at LSMA was the best year of all my years in primary education.

    LSMA was more than a school, it was a proving ground. I mean this in the most fundamental way. It was a place where students were not only educated, they were challenged; challenged to rise above; challenged to be a better human being; challenged to be a better citizen (no matter what country they came from); challenged to succeed.

    If I ever win the lottery and I can swing it I would buy back La Salle and return it too its former glory and status as a school where challenge lives.

  90. Joe gambino
    8 June 2013
    11:45 am

    I graduated in 84 are there any of my class mates out there?
    It was great remembering, thanks to everyone who posted.
    I remember the secretary used to get us all excited she was beautiful
    does anyone remember her?
    Also brother Francis Brancato was mean as hell but for good reasons
    I heard he eventually left the brotherhood and got married.

    My email is

  91. carol
    9 June 2013
    1:39 am

    I went to summer camp at Lasalle. Does anyone know what happened to brother Cormac. I kept in touch with him for years after I moved away but dropped my communication. I loved this camp, I have moved away but every time I am home one of the places I like to go see is LSMA.

  92. John Arevalo V.
    19 June 2013
    6:21 am

    I was part of the Class of 1983, The Centennial Class of LSMA…I was counting on another 100 years to go, but I guess not….I thank my Parents for giving me that opportunity to go to LSMA, because all my best friends and Brothers I found there. I am so sad I could not send my 2 boys to have such a wonderful experience…My last comment is to stay in touch, for we have cultivated a valuable friendship through a great Institution…Long Live LSMA in our hearts…God Bless You all….

  93. Thomas Bennett
    26 July 2013
    2:05 pm

    I taught at lsma 90 – 96. Any students or other teachers remembremember the epic basketball games at the field house? Or clamming in the bay after school? Some good memories

  94. Pierce Lennon
    19 August 2013
    12:02 am

    To William B Schreiber ’43
    Apologies, I missed your reply last year and very much appreciate you getting back to me. I am delighted at making contact with someone who knew Brother Brendan in the US. I am starting to do the family tree and seeking as much information as possible on Brother Brendan and another brother and sister who emigrated to America in the early part of the 20th century. I am going to New York for a 2 week vacation on the 3rd September and will be visiting the old Academy in Oakdale, Long Island when I am there.
    Many thanks again for making contact and if there is any more information you may have whether you consider it insignificant or otherwise I would be delighted to hear from you.



  95. Pierce Lennon
    26 August 2013
    11:04 pm

    To Catherine Szabo
    Hi Catherine I just came across your posting dated 1/12/12. I am most interested in the fact that you have year books for the period 1944 – 1947 as my uncle Brother Brendan (James Lannon) was a member of the staff in the Academy during that period and may have held a prominent position. I am researching the family tree and know that Brother Brendan arrived in Ellis Island from Queenstown in Ireland on the 2/10/1914 at the age of 18 as a member of the De La Salle Christian Brothers.


    Pierce Lennon

  96. Angelo Tartaro '78
    13 September 2013
    12:31 pm

    Absolutely the best years of my life. The bonds of friendship that I have with some of my La Salle brothers will last forever !!!!

    2 January 2014
    8:07 am

    Graduated LSMA in 1960. the first year was very hard for me.By the second year it got a little easier.The problem was me not the school.I tried to do things my way and not the LSMA way so I was making it tough on my self. Once I learned to do things the LSMA way my problems went away. Yes I was picked on by the upper classmen but I learned how to deal with it mostley through sports.I have found memories of the campus the nights we went down to the beaches and had our beer parties. Oh come on admit it you guys did it to.We did alot of things we weren’t supposed to. to Yes together we had a great time and we grew up With a foundation that can’t be matched. Thanks to all of you for growing up with me.Well ihave to go now It’s my turn to guard that stupid tree.

  98. 6 February 2014
    3:37 am

    Hi to those that remember me.That sure was a great time back then.I’m still in Liberty,NY 12754 Cell 914-799-0245 Call if you’d like to reminisce or come up if you want to play some golf. Class of 72 you rocked. PS just became a Grandpa!!!

  99. 10 March 2014
    3:27 am

    My Dad was All American in football in the late 30’s
    He played with Charlie Trippi at LaSalle . Hall of fame running back out of U Georgia .
    He roomed with the future Pres, of Nicaragua Samosa

  100. Noël Pallais '68
    31 March 2014
    11:14 pm

    Nice pictures, thank you! I wonder where all my classmates are? I seem to be the only one of us who found this page…

  101. Noël Pallais '68
    31 March 2014
    11:16 pm

    I take my previous comment; I just found my old friend Andres Pantin. I wonder how I can connect with him…

  102. richard march
    6 April 2014
    5:47 pm

    As a graduate of class 1973, we were all very fortunate as we got older to be exposed to the idea of honor and dedication. We dont see this anymore in the upcoming generations, they look upon our time as prehistoric. We became honorable and hardworking men, productive in society,all those nites studying, getting ready for inspections, etc, produced a character that those who did not experience what we did will never understand. I for one will always cherish the opportunity given to me to be a lasalle MA graduate, qualities i took foward with me all my life. no regrets.

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