Academics Banner

National Federation of Catholic College Students

Social Action at Manhattanville Home
Principles Versus Prejudices
National Federation of Catholic College Students
The Social Action Secretariat: Publications 1960

The Social Action Secretariat: Events 1960-1966
The Social Action Secretariat: Activism 1960-1966
View Complete Collection

The Creation of the National Federation of Catholic College Students (1937-1960)

The growth of social action among the Manhattanville community led to interest in the Pax Romana organization. Pax Romana was an international Catholic Action organization based in Europe that sought to unite young people and share ideas regarding social action.

Winifred Byles letter to delegatesWinifred Byles. Letter to Delegates. October 4, 1937.

Because Pax Romana only collaborated with other National organizations, Manhattanville student Winifred Byles invited delegates from area Catholic colleges to meet October 24, 1937 at the Manhattanville campus and form the National Federation of Catholic College Students.

Winifred Byles speech to delegates 1937Winifred Byles. Speech to Delegates. October 24, 1937

It was at this October 24, 1937 meeting that the National Federation of Catholic College Students (N.F.C.C.S.) was founded. "Small fires have been lit, and while we watch these fires are spreading and joining one with another... …Why should one college not give to the next one the benefit of its fine activities?" The N.F.C.C.S. grew from sixteen colleges at its first meeting to 137 member college by 1947.

Interracial Forum 1947Interracial Forum. March 1, 1947.

In 1945 Manhattanville began hosting an annual Interracial Justice Week.  These weeks consisted of lectures, discussions, and cultural events.

Interracial Forum Panel 1947Interracial Forum. March 1, 1947.

Discussion panel left to right: Basil Paterson, Jacques Leroy, T. Crowley, Angela Bajo, and Fred Flach.

President O'Byrne and John LaFarge at the Interracial Forum 1947Interracial Forum. March 1, 1947.

Manhattanville President Eleanor O'Byrne, R.S.C.J. (third from left) chats with John LaFarge, S.J.

Catholic Digest 1949"Picture Story: Principle Conquers Prejudice." Catholic Digest. September 1949.

This Catholic Digest celebrated the diversity of the Manhattanville student body of 400 representing 21 countries. The photographs also captured the last few years of the college on its Manhattan campus. Manhattanville College moved to Purchase, N.Y. in 1952.

NFCCS in the Centurion 1960"N.F.C.C.S. Social Action May Establish Here." The Centurion. May 12, 1960.

As the N.F.C.C.S. continued to grow and divide into various regions, the organization struggled to find a proper method of nation-wide communication. This spurred a reorganization of the entire N.F.C.C.S., resulting in four main branches of responsibility, each to be led by a particular campus.

NFCC Conference 19601960 National Federation of Catholic College Students Annual Conference. Louisville, Kentucky

Manhattanville was elected the Seat of the Social Action Secretariat during the annual N.F.C.C.S. conference held in Louisville, KY from August 29-September 3, 1960.

NFCC Conference 19601960 National Federation of Catholic College Students Annual Conference. Louisville, Kentucky

NFCC Conference 19601960 National Federation of Catholic College Students Annual Conference. Louisville, Kentucky

 Continue to next page of exhibit: The Social Action Secretariat: Publications (1960)