Manhattanville College

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Manhattanville College
Motto In Exultatione Metens
Established 1841
Type Private coeducational
Academic staff
Undergraduates 1,700
Postgraduates 1,000
Location Purchase (Harrison), NY
Campus Suburban; 100 acres (0.40 km2)
Athletics 21 NCAA Division III sports teams
Colors Crimson and White          
Mascot Valiant
The architectural and administrative centerpiece of the Manhattanville campus, Reid Hall (1864), is named after Whitelaw Reid, owner of the New York Tribune.

Manhattanville College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college offering undergraduate and graduate degrees, located in Purchase, New York. Founded in 1841 at 412 Houston Street in Manhattan, it was known initially as Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart. Manhattanville's mission is to "educate students to become ethically and socially responsible leaders for the global community".[1] The school moved to its current location in Purchase, New York in 1952.

Approximately 1,700 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate students attend Manhattanville. Manhattanville students come from 76 countries and 48 states.".[2]

The architectural and administrative centerpiece of the Manhattanville campus, Reid Hall (1864) is named after Whitelaw Reid, owner of the New York Tribune. On either side of Reid Hall stand academic buildings on one side and on the other residence halls around a central quad designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of Central Park. The Manhattanville community regards the central quad and buildings as representing the academic vision of the college’s commitment to integrated learning and centered strengths. Other historic buildings include Lady Chapel, the President’s Cottage known as the Barbara Debs House, the old Stables, and Water Tower.


In 1841 the Academy of the Sacred Heart, a Catholic boarding school for girls, was founded in a three-story house on Houston Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side. The Academy relocated in 1847 to an area in the northwestern part of Manhattan Island on a hill overlooking the village of Manhattanville. Destroyed by a fire in 1888, the Academy was rebuilt on the same foundation and continued to grow both in curriculum and physical size. In March 1919, 76 years after its founding as an academy, Manhattanville was chartered as a college by the New York State Board of Regents, empowering it to grant both undergraduate and graduate degrees.[citation needed] During the Great Depression and World War II, President Grace Cowardin Dammann, RSCJ, instilled in Manhattanville's students a keen awareness of social problems by encouraging them to spend one day a week working with children at the Barat Settlement in the Bowery and at Casita Maria in East Harlem. Mother Dammann's widely published speech, "Principles vs. Prejudice", inspired other colleges to break down racial barriers.[citation needed] This speech and Mother Dammann’s commitment to racial integration were frequently applauded by other leaders, including Sargent Shriver who in a speech he gave at a Baptist church in Winnetka, Illinois, praised Mother Dammann for her visionary leadership. Mother Dammann also instituted tenure and sabbaticals for faculty, enlisted staff and faculty in TIAA by contributing to their retirement, connected with national academic organizations, championed integrated learning, and promoted the importance of scholarship to teaching.[citation needed]

In 1952 under president Mother Eleanor O'Byrne, the college moved from its campus in Harlem[3] to suburban Purchase to the former estate of Whitelaw Reid, "Ophir Hall". The campus was sold to City College of New York.After becoming co-educational and secular in the late 1960s and early 1970s the college faced a crisis of identity and some of its real-estate assets were liquidated. Co-educational since 1969 and non-denominational in its governance since 1971, Manhattanville's original vision lives on in the tradition of service begun by the Society of the Sacred Heart, extending from the students to the global community through Manhattanville's mission to educate ethically and socially responsible leaders for the global community. RSCJs continue to serve on the College’s Board and a few reside on campus. The accomplishments of the Religious and their profound impact on the life of the college are celebrated annually through events such as a “Founding Mothers Exhibit”, and lectures on the College’s engagement with civil rights and social action.

An aerial photo of the former campus of the Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart in the Manhattanville section of New York City, taken from the south looking northeast.
Statue of Jesus Christ in the campus cemetery


Manhattanville is located on a 100-acre (0.40 km2) wooded campus in Purchase, New York, on the former estate of Ben Holladay, and later, Whitelaw Reid. The college originally purchased a larger tract of land, but sold segments to the Keio Academy and Mastercard in the 1970s and 1980s. The centerpiece of the campus is a quadrangle designed in part by Frederick Law Olmsted, who was hired by Reid to landscape his estate. The quad is bordered on its north end by Reid Hall, which occupies the footprint of Ben Holladay's Ophir Hall, which burnt down and was rebuilt by Whitelaw Reid as a massive granite crenellated mansion, built in 1895 to designs by McKim, Mead & White and now known simply as "the Castle". Reid Hall was at one time a potential site for the United Nations, and its grounds were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. On the northwest side of the quad is the Manhattanville library, with a full-time cafe. There is also a graveyard on campus which contains the remains of nearly 50 nuns, a relic of the days when this was a Catholic school known as Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart. The historic Lady Chapel, with an unused crypt in its basement, and biology classroom in the Ohnell Environmental Park were designed by Maya Lin, who designed the Vietnam War Memorial. Two other historic buildings, the President’s Cottage, and stables built of fieldstone, are part of the campus. Stones from the dismantled Japan Pavilion at the New York World Fair, a gift from the Japanese government to the College, can be found around the President’s Cottage.

Japan Pavilion stones on campus.


Manhattanville is a highly ranked[4] liberal arts institution, offering the four-year Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees to undergraduate students and the M.A., M.S., Ph.D. and Ed. D. for graduate students. Undergraduates can choose from 45 majors and minors, while graduate students can explore 75 graduate degrees and advanced certificates. Students are also free to design special majors or engage in dual majors. The most popular majors for undergraduates are Business, Management, Psychology, Communications, English, Studio Art, and History.

The Castle Scholars Honors Program[edit]

The Castle Scholars Honors Program at Manhattanville College seeks to challenge high-achieving students and encourages them to explore new areas of interest beyond the usual intellectual parameters during their entire undergraduate career. This selective program limits admission to the top ten percent of each incoming class. Castle Scholars Honors Students benefit from rigorous, intellectually stimulating, interdisciplinary seminars, all of which are taught by full-time faculty. Castle Scholars can also apply for special funding to complete independent Honors research and creative projects, allowing them to design, implement, and achieve the ambitious goals they set for themselves. Castle Honors students also learn how to become effective leaders and give back to the Manhattanville community by organizing Human Rights Awareness Day each fall, and the Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Fair each spring.

Pius X School of Liturgical Music[edit]

The Pius X School of Liturgical Music was opened in 1916 as part of the College. It was founded by Justine Ward, who had developed teaching methods for Gregorian chant emulating the techniques of the monks in Solesmes, and by Mother Georgia Stevens, RSCJ, a musician and Roman Catholic nun.[5] Faculty over the years included Ward, Achille Bragers and Andre Mocquereau.[citation needed] Thousands of music teachers studied at the school, including Cecilia Clare Bocard and Thomas Mark Liotta. The school's namesake was Pope Pius X, a devotee of sacred music who initiated reform of the liturgy in the 20th century. The institute closed in 1969. In 2010 a Gregorian Chant, held in Pius X Hall, as part of Inauguration festivities for the current President, saw a packed auditorium of alumni, students, and faculty.

Graduate programs[edit]

In addition to its more than 50 areas of undergraduate study, Manhattanville College offers graduate Master’s degrees in ten areas of study and an Ed.D. in the School of Education. The School of Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) offers Master’s of Science degrees in Human Resource Management and Organizational Effectiveness, Business Leadership, Marketing Communication Management, International Management, Sport Business Management, and Finance. The college also offers accelerated BS degrees, and dual-degree options including a BA/MA in Creative Writing. GPS is also home to the Education and Research Center for Managing Risk.

Manhattanville’s 36-credit Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program is open to graduates of accredited colleges and universities who demonstrate a strong potential in writing and critical thinking. Students are admitted to the program primarily on the strength of the writing they submit as part of the application process.

Manhattanville Library Rare Book and Manuscripts Room[edit]

The Rare Book and Manuscripts Room preserves both manuscripts and printed materials from the Manhattanville College Library. The rare book collection consists of approximately 2,400 titles that span the history of the book in the United States and Europe. Subject fields represented include history, religion, literature, biography, and philosophy. The collection also includes other formats such as periodicals, Jewish pamphlets, government documents, maps, and manuscripts. Particularly noteworthy are five incunabula, and several bound manuscript volumes. The latter include individual collections of psalms and prayers intended as an aid to private devotion, known as the Books of Hours. The most notable of these is the Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis, Cum Calendario—also known as the Manhattanville Book of Hours.[6]

Student life[edit]

The restored nineteenth-century "Lady Chapel" in Ohnell Environmental Park


The Touchstone is the oldest newspaper serving the Manhattanville community; the national literary magazine Inkwell is also published at Manhattanville.


Manhattanville is a member of NCAA Division III, competing primarily in the Freedom Conference within the Middle Atlantic Conferences as well as in the ECAC West Conference (men's hockey) and ECAC East Conference (women's hockey). The department has added eight teams since 2007 and currently sponsors 20 varsity sports: men's and women's basketball, cross country, hockey, indoor track, lacrosse, outdoor track, and soccer; baseball, softball, men's and women's golf, field hockey, and women's volleyball.

Manhattanville Valiants
University Manhattanville College
Conference Freedom
ECAC (Hockey only)
NCAA Division III
Athletic director Keith Levinthal
Location Purchase, NY
Varsity teams 20 (9 Men & 11 Women)
Basketball arena Kennedy Gymnasium
Soccer stadium Field
Mascot Valiant
Nickname Valiants
     Crimson       White


Sport Venue Coach 2014-15 Year
Baseball Manhattanville Field (Baseball) Jeff Caufield 11th Year
Basketball (Men) Kennedy Gymnasium Pat Scanlon 11th Year
Basketball (Women) Kennedy Gymnasium Kate Vlahakis 3rd Year
Cross Country (Men & Women) Manhattanville Cross Country Course Megan Patterson 1st Year
Field Hockey Field Kevin Kelly 7th Year
Golf (Men) N/A Arlen Marshall 1st Year
Golf (Women) N/A David Turco 3rd Year
Ice Hockey (Men) Playland Ice Casino Arlen Marshall 3rd Year
Ice Hockey (Women) Playland Ice Casino David Turco 4th Year
Lacrosse (Men) Field Ryder Bohlander 1st Year
Lacrosse (Women) Field Courtney Burhans 3rd Year
Soccer (Men) Field Gregg Miller 4th Year
Soccer (Women) Field Graham Kennett 1st Year
Softball Manhattanville Field (Softball) Dale Martin 3rd Year
Indoor Track & Field (Men & Women) N/A Megan Patterson 1st Year
Outdoor Track & Field (Men & Women) N/A Megan Patterson 1st Year
Volleyball (Women) Kennedy Gymnasium Amanda Alayon 4th Year
The Quadrangle at Manhattanville College.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Manhattanville College". Manhattanville College. Retrieved 2015-08-03. 
  2. ^ "UndergraduateAdmissions". Retrieved 2015-08-03. 
  3. ^ "city college fund". Retrieved 2015-08-03. 
  4. ^ Manhattanville is ranked as a "Top Tier" college by US News & World Report "Top East Coast School" by and as one of the "360 Best Colleges" by Princeton Review,
  5. ^ Catherine A. Carroll, "Justine B. Ward and the Pius X School 1916-1931: Historical Outline", in Litjens/Steinschulte, Divini 121-124.
  6. ^ "Media Services". Retrieved 2015-08-03. 
  7. ^ "Faculty Profile". Retrieved 2015-08-03. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°1′55.42″N 73°42′56.01″W / 41.0320611°N 73.7155583°W / 41.0320611; -73.7155583