Manhattanville Reid Castle In the Spring

History of Manhattanville


In 1841 in a three-story house on Houston Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side, the Academy of the Sacred Heart, a Catholic boarding school for girls, was founded. The Academy relocated in 1847 to an area just north of New York City 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 environment.

In March of 1917, 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. In September 1952, the college moved to Purchase to the former estate of Whitelaw Reid, publisher of the New York Herald Tribune and Ambassador to England. Today, Manhattanville's "Castle" looks out over the green of the quadrangle to the renovated residence halls, academic buildings and the housing complex for faculty and staff.

Fully co-educational 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. During the 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. The long tradition of the school, which preceded the college charter, determined the character Manhattanville would have: a firm belief in the liberalizing effect of the liberal arts, a lively sense of tradition, a wide-ranging interest in the most humane manifestations of the human spirit, and a continuing effort to enhance the local community and to accept responsibility for this segment of human history.

Today Manhattanville offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Science degrees. Additionally, Manhattanville offers a Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Professional Studies, Master of Arts in Writing, Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, Master of Science in Organizational Management and Human Resource Development, Master of Science in Leadership and Strategic Management, and Master of Science in Management Communications. Students may also obtain provisional New York State Teaching certification at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Through the successful pursuit of our mission, we at Manhattanville believe that good human values will be fostered, respect for one's self and for others will be encouraged, and graduates, by virtue of their education and their vision, will be enabled to assist and improve the world.