Marymount Manhattan College
MottoTua Luce Dirige
Motto in English
Direct Us By Thy Light
TypePrivate college
Established1936; 88 years ago (1936)
Religious affiliation
Formerly Catholic
Endowment$18.1 million[1]
PresidentPeter Naccarato (interim)
Academic staff
92 full-time faculty
Undergraduates2,069 (2017)[2]

40°46′7″N 73°57′35″W / 40.76861°N 73.95972°W / 40.76861; -73.95972
Colors    Blue and white

Marymount Manhattan College is a private college on the Upper East Side of New York City. As of 2020, enrollment consisted of 1,571 undergraduate students with women making up 80.1% and men 19.9% of student enrollment.[3] The college was founded in 1936.


Marymount Manhattan College
55th Street entrance

Marymount Manhattan College was founded in 1936 by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary as a two-year women's college and a New York City extension of Marymount College, Tarrytown in Tarrytown, New York. In 1948, the college moved to its present location on East 71st Street and became a four-year bachelor's degree-granting college; the first class graduated from MMC in 1950. In 1961, MMC was granted an absolute charter as an independent four-year college by the Regents of the University of the State of New York.[4]

Since 1961, Marymount Manhattan has been an independent, private college open to all creeds, while noting its foundation by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary. While the college no longer described itself as Catholic, the Catholic Church continued to list it in the Catholic Directory until 2005. Unaware that the college did not claim to be a Catholic school, the Cardinal Newman Society protested the college's announcement of its decision to invite then-Senator Hillary Clinton to deliver a commencement address and to confer an honorary doctoral degree upon her,[5] due to Senator Clinton's longtime public support for abortion rights.[5] In response to the protests and without objection by the college, it was de-listed from "The Official Catholic Directory," which identifies Catholic institutions.

In 1976, Finch College, a women's college best known as a "finishing school" for affluent young women, closed and passed its records over to the school. The school was most famous for educating Tricia Nixon Cox, daughter of former US President Richard Nixon.

In 1990, Regina Peruggi became the first lay president.[6] In 2003, the college's mezzanine was renamed in her honor. Peruggi was married to Rudy Giuliani from 1968 to 1982.

In 2001, the college opened the 55th Street Residence Hall, one of the tallest dorms in the United States,[7] with 32 floors of student housing in a 46-story building. In 2015, Marymount Manhattan opened a second residence hall for upperclassmen located in Cooper Square, a 12-story building to house 270 students[8]

In 2017, just under 2,000 students were enrolled representing 48 U.S. states and 36 countries. In conjunction with its core liberal arts curriculum, Marymount Manhattan offers 30 major programs of study and over 40 minors along with pre-professional programs.[9] It is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. The college offers a degree program for incarcerated women at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, granting an Associates of Arts degree in social science and Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology.[10]

In 2013, the school was featured in the industry publication Backstage as one of the top colleges in which Broadway and Tony Award-nominated actors have trained, alongside Carnegie Mellon University, Oberlin Conservatory, University of Michigan, Ithaca College, NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.[11]

In July 2015, Kerry Walk was unanimously selected by the Trustees of Marymount Manhattan College as the school's eighth president.[12]

Notable alumni

Main page: Category:Marymount Manhattan College alumni

Alumni include prominent actors, musicians, attorneys, writers, journalists, royalty, the first female nominee for Vice President of the United States from a major party, and recipients of the Olympic Gold Medal, Tony Award, Emmy Award, and Grammy Award.


  1. ^ Marymount Manhattan College
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