To all members of the Northeastern University community:

Since its inception 125 years ago, Northeastern has been a university engaged with the world. This engagement is rooted in our rich history as a leader in experiential learning. By building a Global University System, we have enhanced our ability to provide learning in different contexts and deepen the global impact of our research.

The Global University System has steadily expanded through a variety of approaches: organic “start-up” campuses, philanthropic partnerships, and mergers with high-quality institutions such as the New College of the Humanities in London and Mills College in Oakland. In each of those mergers, our institutions determined that we could achieve more by joining together than we could accomplish individually. I’m writing today to share that an exciting new opportunity is unfolding, and we are working carefully and collaboratively to bring it to fruition.

Northeastern has formally entered into a merger agreement with Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. As you may know, Marymount Manhattan is a liberal arts college located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with a broad range of undergraduate degree offerings. While MMC is most known for its performing arts programs, the college offers 34 different majors in fields ranging from psychology to marketing to behavioral neuroscience. In its most recent academic plan, MMC placed great emphasis on interdisciplinary and experiential learning—a wonderful alignment with Northeastern’s core strengths.

The merger has been approved by the governing boards of both institutions, subject to final approval by state and federal regulators. The new entity will be Northeastern University – New York City.

MMC currently has approximately 1,400 undergraduate students. When the merger is complete, MMC students will transition into Northeastern programs that align with their current courses of study at no additional cost. Over time, enrollments will span a range of academic disciplines, particularly those that align with the unparalleled economic ecosystem that is New York City.

There is also a very strong demand for lifelong learning in New York. Beyond its status as a financial and media capital, New York is now home to a fast-growing technology sector, including significant players such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Just as we’ve seen in Seattle, the Bay Area and in Canada, professionals with undergraduate degrees are seeking opportunities to reskill and upskill themselves to meet the employment opportunities of tomorrow.

As always, our guiding principles for building the Global University System remain: Enhanced mobility for undergraduates; industry-aligned lifelong learning opportunities; and unparalleled opportunities for faculty to globalize their teaching and research. And because no other university has built a global system quite like Northeastern’s, we are differentiating ourselves at a time of great uncertainty in higher education.

I want to thank the leadership of Marymount Manhattan College for their partnership and willingness to embark on this exciting journey together. Their foresight and dedication to the well-being of their students is both admirable and increasingly necessary as the higher education landscape continues to shift.

In the coming days and weeks, members of Northeastern’s senior leadership team will provide more detailed updates as we navigate the regulatory process and work to integrate our two institutions. I look forward to working with all members of the Northeastern and Marymount Manhattan communities to shape a bold future together.



Joseph E. Aoun