Will New York be Featuring Another Manhattanville?


Columbia University has been making plans to add another campus, and will soon be finishing up their largest expansion project in over a century – Columbia University’s Manhattanville Campus.

Now, Manhattanville College has not made a sudden agreement with Columbia to share the name, have a sister campus, or anything of that nature. In fact, the institutions are separate from one another.

What does it mean for the college’s name recognition? Manhattanville might struggle when compared to Columbia University in terms of brand recognition. The size and awareness of Columbia simply outranks that of Manhattanville. While the two institutions attract different students, a simple Google search of “Manhattanville” might soon become confusing.

From the perspective of Communications Director JJ Pryor, Manhattanville College should not be too concerned, especially as it is not a bad thing to be related to Columbia University.

“I actually think it helps our branding. We’ve trademarked Manhattanville College because of the Confusion between the two [and] to build brand equity for the name Manhattanville College. Because it is a section of Harlem, we can’t prohibit other people from using the name, nor can they prohibit us for using the name,” said Pryor.

Manhattanville College resides in Purchase, NY, but the institution was once stationed between 130th and 133rd Street (North-South) and between Convent Ave. and St. Nicholas Terrace (East-West) in New York. Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart was an integral part of West Harlem or the town of Manhattanville, which inspired the name of the college. The Institution borrowed their name from their location, just as Columbia has done.

According to Manhattanville, Columbia’s website, the 17-acre campus in West Harlem plans to embrace its history as well as be a place to “reimagine what a 21st-century urban university” can be. While the two institutions share a name, Lauren Ziarko, the Archivist at Manhattanville, stressed that the location of the new Columbia campus is not on the former Manhattanville property.

In 1946, New York City began to grow, but Manhattanville did not follow in suit; its enrollment stayed low, with fewer than 400 students while owning an 18-acre campus. City College, who did not have the space to hold their growing student body created a pamphlet, “No Other Place to Go: A City College Plea for Purchase of the Manhattanville Property.” Because of their plea, the City of New York claimed the campus through eminent domain and gifted the property to City College. After being reimbursed for the property, the college purchased Reid Estate and moved to its current home in Purchase in 1952.

The college carried the Manhattanville name to Purchase, NY and dropped “The College of the Sacred Heart” in 1966, creating the Manhattanville College name that is known today.