Your College, Manhattanville College, has a long and glorious history. However, we do not have a “History of Manhattanville” in printed form. As I have more and more opportunities to speak with some of our amazing alumnae and alumni, I admire their personal and professional accomplishments, but I am simply awestruck by their engagement for social justice and human rights, both when they were students at Manhattanville and after. Whether they participated in Martin Luther King’s historic March on Washington in 1963 or again, joined as part of the official Manhattanville contingent on the march from Selma to Washington, D.C. in 1965, or went knocking door-to-door in Harlem in the 1960s to find students who could benefit from the then nascent Head Start program, or whether, as successful doctors and researchers at a top university they decided to travel the globe on behalf of UNICEF or USAID to organize the delivery of effective, inexpensive medicines and vaccines that prevented thousands of deaths in developing countries, they have all lived up to the best of our expectations, and their stories should be collected and preserved. So here is a challenge to all Manhattanville students: I want you to consider working together with a faculty member in any one of the relevant disciplines to pick as your summer or senior project an interview with one of our distinguished alumnae and alumni. We will then compile these individual interviews into a collective oral-history narrative of Manhattanville that will be preserved on our website and in our records and will eventually become the foundation of a grand historical narrative about your College!
Michael Geisler, President