Home News Stories 2010 July National Academy Turns 75 Academy’s First Class

Academy’s First Class

National Academy students in class.

Early training was held in Room 5231 at the Department of Justice, then home to the FBI.

A Milestone in Police Training
The First National Academy Class


Who Attended: Twenty-three police officers from around the nation. (See list below)

National Academy seal

FBI National Academy

- Academy Turns 75
- Academy Milestones
- Academy’s First Class
- National Academy Website

Where the Training was Held: In Room 5231 of the Justice Department (and then FBI) Headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. The long and narrow room was aptly nicknamed the “wind tunnel.” Firearms training took place at the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia, near where the current National Academy is held. 

How Long It Lasted: A total of 12 weeks.

What They Studied: A range of subjects similar to the new FBI agents of the day—forensic science, statistics, records and report writing, investigations, enforcement and regulatory procedure, tests and practical experiences; police administration and organization, and firearms training and first aid.

Challenges: Although the training was free, the sponsoring police agency paid travel costs and lodging. This put some hardship on the officers attending. One had to mortgage his home to attend. Another was called “The Loner” by his classmates because he avoided their company at meal time; they soon learned he was getting by on just 35 cents a day so he could support his family back home. (In the late 1960s, Congress began providing funds to the FBI for all aspects of travel and board, making it easier for any law enforcement officer to attend the academy.)  

Graduation: Took place on October 19, 1935, with the attorney general and Director Hoover on hand to present certificates and offer congratulations.

The First Graduating Class:

Reception dinner


William Adams
Ralph W. Alvis
Charles R. Blake
Claude Broom
Matthew J. Donohue
James C. Downs
L. E. Goodrich
Earl J. Henry
Nelson Hughes
Francis X. Latulipe
Fred J. Manning
Camille Marcel
Leo Mulcahy
Morgan J. Naught
Michael P. Naughton  
James B. Nolan
Norman R. Purnell
C. W. Ray
Harry T. Riddell
E. W. Savory
James T. Sheehan
Clarence Smith
Ellis J. Wyatt

Cincinnati, Ohio, Police Department
Ohio Highway Patrol
Rhode Island State Police
Detroit Michigan, Police Department
Bergen County, NJ Police Department
Baltimore, MD Police Department
State of Florida Official
Pennsylvania Highway Patrol
Tamaqua, Pennsylvania Police Department
San Francisco, California Police Department
Miami, Florida Police Department
Pittsfield, Massachusetts Police Department
Connecticut State Police
Elizabeth, NJ, Police Department
Chicago, Illinois, Police Department
New York City Police Department
Delaware State Highway Patrol
West Virginia State Police
Dallas, Texas, Police Department
Petersburg, Virginia, Police Department
Boston, Massachusetts, Police Department
Stamford, Connecticut, Police Department
Prescott, Arizona, Police Department

Class Counselors:

J. D. Cunningham  
N. O. Scott
W. F. Seery

Detroit Office, FBI
Kansas City Office, FBI
New York Office, FBI