Pine Manor College

Pine Manor College (PMC) is a private liberal arts college in Brookline, Massachusetts with one of the lowest graduation rates of any such college in the nation. It was founded in 1911 and was historically a women's college until 2014. It currently serves less than 400 students, many of whom live on the 40-acre campus. Originally the college was a post-graduate program of Dana Hall School, an all girl's preparatory high school, although today it is an independent college serving primarily students of color.

Pine Manor College
Latin: Pineae Manoris Collegii
MottoAymez Loyaute
(Old French for "Love Loyalty")
TypePrivate liberal arts
Endowment$9.5 Million[1]
PresidentThomas M. O’Reilly (2016)
Location, ,
United States
AthleticsNCAA Division III independent schools, American Collegiate Athletic Association


The college was founded in 1911 as Pine Manor Junior College (PMJC) by Helen Temple Cooke, as part of the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts. It was a women-only institution at a time when women were generally denied access to higher education.

Author and educator Ella Lyman Cabot taught at PMJC in its early days. Pioneering female architect Eleanor Manning O'Connor taught at PMJC in the 1930s;[3] educator Mary Nourse taught history there in 1933–1934.[4]

In 1965 the school moved to a 78-acre (320,000 m2) estate in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Brookline. The estate, then known as Roughwood, was the residence of Ernest B. Dane, at that time president of the Brookline Savings and Trust. Many of the school's buildings are original to the estate and have been renovated to accommodate the college.

In 1977, under the leadership of President Rosemary Ashby, the school expanded its mission to offer four-year bachelor's degrees, and became Pine Manor College.

However, by the end of President Rosemary Ashby's tenure in the mid-nineties, enrollment had declined by 50 percent to less than 300 full-time students, threatening the survival of the college. In 1996, under new president Gloria Nemerowicz, the school changed its mission from educating women in the social elite to educating women of color from under-served communities. This was made possible, in large part, due to the generosity of wealthy older alumnae; in 1998, Pine Manor College cut its tuition by 34 percent after receiving a bequest of $4 million from Frances Crandall Dyke '25.[5] Although this shift increased enrollment and brought the school praise and admiration, the school's financial endowment declined.[6][7][8]

In 2011, the college failed to meet the financial benchmarks required by its accreditation agency.[9] Fiscal year 2012 ended with a $1.7 million deficit.[10] In May 2013, the college sold 5.2 acres to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for $4.5 million to build his family home.[11] The school had earlier sold off another acre for a home site.[12]

In September 2014, the college welcomed its first co-ed class, admitting men for the first time in its 103-year history.[13] The following year, President E. Joseph Lee stepped down amidst reports of the school's financial difficulties and declining enrollment.[10][14]

In April 2016, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges placed Pine Manor on probation, risking the loss of its accreditation.[15] President Tom O'Reilly took the helm in May 2016.[16] One year later, the town of Brookline informed the college that they would be seeking to seize seven acres of the school's 52 acres under eminent domain for the building of an elementary school.[17]

In 2018, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges removed Pine Manor from probation, ensuring the College’s continuous accreditation since it began offering degrees.[18] In May 2019, Pine Manor College was recognized by NASPA and the Center for First-Generation Student Success for its commitment to serving first-generation college students.[19]


Pine Manor College offers nine undergraduate majors. Upon graduation, students receive the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Associate of Arts, or the Associate of Science.

Since 2006, PMC has also offered a four-semester Master of Fine Arts in creative writing known as the Solstice Low-Residency MFA Program. In the low-residency format, students complete five 10-day, on-campus residencies and four semesters in which they work with their faculty mentors remotely from their homes. Residencies occur in January and July and start the spring and fall semesters, respectively. Solstice students may concentrate in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, comics & graphic narratives, or writing for children and young adults.[20]

The college hosts two English as a second or foreign language programs, which also serve as university pathways programs.[21][22]


Pine Manor is a Division III member of the NCAA.

The college's athletic teams compete as NCAA independents and as members of the American Collegiate Athletic Association. Before the conference disbanded in 2016, its women's teams competed as members of the Great South Athletic Conference (GSAC). Before joining the GSAC in the spring of 2013, Pine Manor was a member of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) from 1995 to 2012.

PMC offers women's athletics in the sports of basketball, cross country, softball, soccer, and volleyball. The college also previously fielded teams in women's tennis and lacrosse. The school started offering men's athletics in 2014 with the addition of men's basketball and soccer teams. In 2015, the school added men's cross country. The men's volleyball team started varsity competition in 2017. Pine Manor added its fifth men's sport, and tenth sport overall, in 2017-18 with the addition of baseball.[23] In 2018, after receiving conference titles in both men's soccer and basketball, the American Collegiate Athletic Association awarded Pine Manor College the inaugural ACAA Men’s President’s Cup.

The school sports mascot is the Gator.


Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and admission decisions are made throughout the year. In addition to academic achievement, the Admissions Committee looks for students possessing seriousness of purpose, leadership potential, motivation, breadth and depth of interests, social responsibility and other attributes.

85 percent of the current students are people of color and 84 percent of the student population are first-generation students.[17]

Pine Manor College Child Study Center

The Pine Manor College Child Study Center was founded in 1974. Owned by Pine Manor College, this private, non-profit preschool center is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and serves 40 children per day between the ages of 2 years 9 months through age 6. The school was initially founded to broaden the learning experiences of the Pine Manor College students who were studying Early Childhood Education and Child Development, and to provide a quality preschool for families in the community. The Child Study Center continues to serve as a Lab School for college students providing students experiential learning and training, while offering part- and full-day quality preschool experience to young children year-round.[24]

Notable people

Notable alumnae

Pine Manor College presidents

  • 1911–1916: Helen Temple Cooke
  • 1916–1928: Adele Lathrop
  • 1928–1929: Constance Warren
  • 1929-1930: Helen Temple Cooke (interim)
  • 1930–1952: Marie Warren Potter[26]
  • 1952–1956: Alfred Tuxbury Hill[26]
  • 1956–1974: Frederick Carlos Ferry, Jr.
  • 1974–1996: Dr. Rosemary Ashby[27]
  • 1996–2011: Gloria Nemerowicz[8]
  • 2011–2012: Alane K. Shanks[28]
  • 2012–2013: Ellen Hurwitz (interim)[29]
  • 2013–2015: Dr. E. Joseph Lee[27]
  • 2015–2016: Dr. Rosemary Ashby (interim)[27]
  • 2016–present: Thomas M. O’Reilly[9]


  1. "Financial Information," Pine Manor College website. Accessed Nov. 19, 2015.
  2. "Enrollment". Pine Manor College. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  3. MIT (1906). Senior Portfolio, p. 30. Sparrell Print, Boston, p. 7.
  4. Who Knows, and What, Among Authorities, Experts, and the Specially Informed. 1949. p. 473.
  5. "Once exclusive college redefines mission - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  6. Carmichael, Mary. "Educating the poor comes at a price for Pine Manor; Newton college looks to retool its finances," The Boston Globe (December 23, 2011).
  7. Zezima, Kate (30 May 2010). "Chestnut Hill Journal: Women's Colleges Shift Gaze to Less Well-Off". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  8. Khadaroo, Stacy Teicher. "Difference Maker: How a college president toppled the ivory tower: Pine Manor College was once a haven for privileged white women. Now it's seeing a surge in low-income and minority students," Christian Science Monitor (Dec. 13, 2010).
  9. Krantz, Laura (May 25, 2016). "Pine Manor College placed on probation by accrediting agency". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  10. Moore, Mary (Jul 15, 2015). "Pine Manor College president is out". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  11. Carapezza, Kirk (May 13, 2015). "Tom Brady once saved this tiny college. Can it still survive?". PRI. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  12. Restuccia, Paul (December 21, 2013). "Patriots fan's paradise". Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  13. "Pine Manor College Welcomed First Co-Ed Class". Pine Manor College. October 9, 2014. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  14. Shannon McMahon. "Tom Brady's Hail Mary cash hasn’t saved this tiny college", (July 16, 2015).
  15. "PUBLIC STATEMENT ON PINE MANOR COLLEGE" (PDF). New England Association of Schools and Colleges. May 25, 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  16. "Pine Manor College Names New President". Pine Manor College. Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  17. Krantz, Laura (2017-09-28). "Brookline considers seizing college land by eminent domain". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2017-09-28.
  18. Staff, Laura Krantz Globe; March 12; 2018; Comments, 6:18 p m Email to a Friend Share on Facebook Share on TwitterPrint this Article View. "Pine Manor College removed from academic probation - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2019-07-30.
  19. "Pine Manor College Recognized for Commitment to First-Gen Student Success". Diverse. 2019-05-04. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  20. "MFA in Creative Writing > Program Overview". Pine Manor College. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  21. "Kings Pathways at Pine Manor College". Pine Manor College. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  22. Swidey, Neil (May 18, 2016). "The college debt crisis is even worse than you think". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  23. "Pine Manor Tabs Anthony Leonelli as Inaugural Baseball Coach". Pine Manor College. Sep 28, 2016. Retrieved Jan 6, 2017.
  24. "Pine Manor College Child Study Center".
  25. "The Lewiston Journal - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  26. "Dr. A. T. Hill Heads Pine Manor," New York Times (January 6, 1952).
  27. "Rosemary Ashby returns to Pine Manor College," Brookline TAB (July 22, 2015).
  28. Carmichael, Mary. "Pine Manor searches for new president," '"The Boston Globe (MAY 19, 2013).
  29. Mattero, Sarah N. "Pine Manor College names Ellen Hurwitz as interim president," The Boston Globe (Nov. 14, 2012).

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