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New Perspectives - Feb, 1997 Issue #44

Purchase, New York
Barry Ward, Vice President for enrollment

visit report by: Tom Bratter, January 26, 1997
President, The John Dewey Academy


Manhattanville College should consider changing its name since there have been profound changes recently. Confronted with bankruptcy a short time ago, Manhattanville has become co-ed and non-secular, leaving behind the provincial 20th century female, Catholic institution it used to be. Housing has been built on campus which will attract competent faculty who wish to be an hour from New York City in beautiful, safe Westchester County. Located near many major corporations, students in the approximately 1100 member student body can do internships, often resulting in employment upon graduation. President Richard Berman, not an academic but a product of business, will seek contributions from those business where students intern that will enhance an already beautiful campus. 

Saturday night, I watched a graduate of The John Dewey Academy help Manhattanville win a basketball game. During the game, Richard Berman, president, introduced himself. I quipped I had urged he grant a merit scholarship to our alumnus. Much to my delight, Berman responded he had read my correspondence to a JDA graduate to deter her from drinking, which I had sent through Barry Ward, vice-president for enrollment. I had wanted her to know she would not be invisible. Moments later, Barry Ward greeted me and reported my letters had helped. Later the Director of Admission and one of his staff who has visited John Dewey chatted with me. How many colleges can boast so many key administrators attending a sports event on a Saturday night? How many colleges have a president who cares and knows students by name? This enthusiasm is contagious. There exists a positive correlation between decreasing drugs and drinking behavior with being known by faculty and administration. 

Manhattanville is on its ascendence with its financial problems appearing to be ancient history. Currently, since only The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges describes this college, it remains a well kept secret. But, recognition is inevitable. Graduates will appreciate having the opportunity to attend a quality, small liberal arts program where they are known as individuals. Special purpose schools, in particular, need to “check Manhattanville out” because the administration is proactive and responsive, which will have a positive impact on faculty recruitment and the quality of students. 

Copyright © 1997, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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