Manhattan College was founded in 1853 by the Brothers of the Christian Schools, a Catholic teaching order started by Saint John Baptist de La Salle. The Lasallian mission drives our focus on quality education for all and service to our neighbors in need. Our picturesque campus is located in The Bronx, a 35-minute subway ride from the heart of Manhattan.
In the Beginning
131st and Broadway location
In May 1853, five Christian Brothers moved their small Canal Street school to what was then known as Manhattanville, a section of New York City at 131st Street and Broadway. The Brothers were the bearers of an educational tradition that began in 17th century France with Saint John Baptist de La Salle, the Patron Saint of Teachers. The Lasallian tradition created a new type of school system and elevated the work of teaching school — treating it as a profession and a vocation. The Brothers were urged to go beyond rote memory to “touch the hearts” of the students. Practical subjects were taught that would lead to a useful role in society; religion was taught to impart a commitment to Christian ethics.
Move from Manhattan to Riverdale
As the school grew, new quarters were needed. The cornerstone of the “New Manhattan” was laid in 1922 in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx, its present location. The addition of new buildings and student residences enlarged and enhanced the campus significantly. From this accessible site, the College offers access to the cultural, educational, business and entertainment opportunities of New York City, as well as a self-contained residential campus environment.
science lab in the 1950s
Following WWII and throughout the mid-century, Manhattan College continued to grow and prosper adding new schools and degree programs. The campus housed both the College and a preparatory school for high school students. In 1973, Manhattan College became coeducational and accepted its first women undergraduate students. Over the next few decades, the student body transformed from a majority commuter to a majority residential college with the opening of new residence hall towers.