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, Fine Arts, Music and Bachelor of Science degrees, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Additionally, the College's School of Education offers 65 plus programs in teacher education and leadership including an Ed.D. in educational leadership, specialty area dual certification program and accelerated program, Jump Start, and the Rose Institute for Learning and Literacy. Students may also obtain provisional New York State Teaching Certification at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Manhattanville's School of Business continuously evolving, industry-driven curriculum features Master of Science in Business Leadership, Finance, Human Resource Management and Organizational Effectiveness, International Management, Marketing Communications Management, and Sport Business Management. The College also offers Adult Undergraduate and Post Baccalaureate programs in addition to summer and winter sessions.
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.