Bard College

Bard College

name =Bard College

motto =Dabo tibi coronam vitae ("I shall give thee the crown of life")
established =1860
type =Private, liberal arts college
endowment =US$180 million
staff =
alumni =
faculty =224
president =Leon Botstein
students =
undergrad =1,801
postgrad =261
doctoral =
profess =key holder
city =Annandale-on-Hudson
state =New York
country =
campus =Rural, 600 acres
free_label =
free =
colors =
mascot =Immanuel Kant
nickname =Raptors
affiliations =
footnotes =
website = []
address =
logo =

Bard College, founded in 1860, is a small, selective [cite web |url= |title=Carnegie Classification |dateaccessed=2008-09-07 |author=Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching] four-year liberal arts college located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.


Bard has a 600-acre (2.4-km²) campus in Annandale-on-Hudson, near the town of Red Hook, overlooking the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains, within the Hudson River Historic District, a National Historic Landmark. The hamlet of Annandale-on-Hudson has no downtown center and consists of the college and nine other non-associated houses. The village is neighbored by the villages of Red Hook and Tivoli, and is across the Hudson River from the small cities of Kingston and Saugerties. Shuttles run between the college and the two villages.


The college was originally founded under the name St. Stephen's, in association with the Episcopal church of New York City, and changed its name to Bard in 1934 in honor of its founder, John Bard. While the college remains affiliated with the church, it pursues a far more secular mission today. Between 1928 and 1944, Bard/St. Stephen's operated as an undergraduate school of Columbia University. Bard/St. Stephen's ties with Columbia were severed when Bard became a fully coeducational college. []

By the 1930s Bard had become atypical among US colleges in that it had begun to place a heavy academic emphasis on the performing and fine arts. During that time, a substantive examination period was introduced for students in their second year, as well as what the dean at the time called the "final demonstration." These two periods would come to be known as Moderation and Senior Project, respectively (see below). []

During the 1940s, Bard provided a haven for intellectual refugees fleeing Europe. These included Hannah Arendt, the political theorist, Stefan Hirsch, the precisionist painter; Felix Hirsch, the political editor of the Berliner Tageblatt; the violinist Emil Hauser; the noted psychologist Werner Wolff; and the philosopher Heinrich Blücher. []

In 1975, after serving as the youngest college president in history at Franconia College, Leon Botstein was elected president of Bard. He is generally credited with reviving the academic and cultural prestige of the College, having overseen the acquisition of Bard College at Simon's Rock, the construction of a Frank Gehry-designed performing arts center, and the creation of a large number of other associated academic institutions.


For the class of 2012, 25% of applicants were accepted, while the median SAT and ACT scores for matriculating students were 1330 (math plus verbal) and 30, respectively. Fifty-four percent of matriculating students ranked in the top 10% of their high school class out of 44% of students who reported their ranking. [] [] The Princeton Review rated Bard a 95 out of 99 in its selectivity rating, [] and "US News & World Report" categorized Bard as "most selective." [] The class of 2011 represent 38 states and 46 different countries. []

Programs and associated institutes

Bard has developed several innovative graduate programs and research institutes, including the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, the Levy Economics Institute, the Center for Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture, the Bard College Conservatory of Music, the ICP-Bard Program in Advanced Photographic Studies in Manhattan, the Master of Arts in Teaching Program (MAT), the Bard College Clemente Program, and the Bard Graduate Center in Manhattan. The college's Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts was designed by acclaimed architect Frank Gehry, and was completed in the spring of 2003.

The Bard Prison Initiative provides a liberal arts degree to incarcerated individuals in five different prisons in New York State, and currently enrolls nearly 200 students. [] Since federal funding for prison education programs was eliminated in 1994, [] the BPI is one of the only programs in the country of its kind. []

Bard College is also affiliated with Bard College at Simon's Rock, the nation's oldest and most prestigious early college entrance program, Bard High School Early College in New York City, as well as Bard Center for Environmental Policy. Bard also helped construct a curriculum for Smolny College, Russia's first liberal arts college, with St. Petersburg State University. Additionally, the college hosts the Bard Globalization and International Affairs (BGIA) Program in New York City, which is focused on the specialized study of human rights law, international relations ethics, civil society, humanitarian action, and global political economy. Students attend seminar classes in the evenings and work at a substantive international affairs internship during the day. BGIA publishes BardPolitik, a semiannual international affairs journal featuring contributions from students and academics.

Bard publishes Conjunctions, a semi-annual literary quarterly.

Recently, Bard College acquired, on permanent loan, art collector Marieluise Hessel's substantial collection of important contemporary artwork. Hessel also contributed eight million dollars for the construction of a new wing at Bard's Center for Curatorial Studies building, in which the collection is exhibited.

tudent life

Over 60 student clubs are financed through Bard's Convocation Fund, which is distributed once a semester by an elected student body and ratified during a rowdy public forum in the dining commons.

Bard students publish two newspapers, the Bard Observer and the Bard Free Press. In 2003, the Free Press won Best Campus Publication in SPIN Magazine's first annual Campus Awards. [] Literary magazines include the semiannual Verse Noire, the annual Bard Papers, and Sui Generis, a journal of translations and of original poetry in languages other than English. The Bard Journal of the Social Sciences, which publishes undergraduate work, is also produced by students on campus.

Other prominent student groups include the International Students Organization and other cultural organizations, the Bard Film Committee, the Bard Democrats, and college radio station WXBC.

Bard is also home to the Root Cellar, a student-run vegan coffeehouse complete with a zine library, which once was touted as "the largest zine library on the East Coast."Fact|date=April 2007 The Root Cellar is also home to a radical literature lending library.

The Bard Athletics department offers varsity sports in basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis, volleyball, and squash (men), and joined the Skyline Conference, effective 2007-2008. One of the more popular sports on campus is rugby. In the spring of 2006, Bard Women's Rugby joined the men's side, Bard Rugby Football Club, as an official team. The men's basketball team gained some notoriety when they were beaten by Caltech in 2007; it was Caltech's first win against an NCAA Division III opponent since 1996, and stopped a streak of 207 consecutive losses. [] Bard player Michael Mandlin was named Division III Player of the Year by the multicampus publication The Outside World. []

Bard has a strong independent music scene considering its isolation and size, and the college's Old Gym was once a popular location for concerts and parties in the 80s, 90s, and early 00s. In 2004, the Old Gym was shut down and in spring 2006 transformed into a student-run theater. Many activities that once took place there now occur in the smaller [ SMOG] building, an autonomous student space. Student-run theater is also popular: dozens of student directed and written productions are put on each semester and a 24 Hour Theater Festival is held at least once a year.

Currently, most on-campus parties are held in the dining commons or at Ward Manor, a 19th century Hudson mansion now used as a dormitory. Furthermore, a social scene for students can be found in the nearby town of Tivoli.


All first-year students must attend the Language and Thinking (L&T) program, an intensive, writing-centered introduction to the liberal arts, for the three weeks preceding their first semester. Orientation also takes place during this time.

As first-years, all students take the "First-Year Seminar", which begins in the fall, and spans thinkers from Confucius to Galileo. The course ends in the spring, spanning William Blake to Karl Marx. There are nearly thirty sections of the course each semester, taught by a wide variety of professors, including President Botstein and other members of the administration.

Another mandatory process of the university is "moderation." Moderation typically takes place in the fourth or fifth semester, as a way of choosing a major. Conditions vary from department to department: all require the preparation of two short papers, one on the moderand's past work in the major subject and one on their plans for the future; most require the completion of a certain set or a certain number of courses; some have additional requirements, such as a concert or recital, the submission of a seminar paper, or the production of a film. To moderate, the student presents whatever work is required to a moderation board of three professors, and is subsequently interviewed, examined, and critiqued.

The "capstone" of the Bard undergraduate experience is the Senior Project. As with moderation, this project takes different forms in different departments. Most students in the divisions of Languages and Literature and of Social Sciences write a paper of around eighty pages, which is then, as with work for moderation, critiqued by a board of three professors. Arts students must organize a series of concerts, recitals, or shows, or produce substantial creative work; math and science students, as well as some social science students, undertake research projects.

The college also offers graduate degrees at the Bard Center for Environmental Policy, the Bard Graduate Center in Manhattan, the Center for Curatorial Studies, the Conductor's Institute, the International Center of Photography (also in Manhattan), the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, and in the Master of Arts in Teaching Program.


Bard is widely regarded as one of the most left-leaning colleges in the country. In 2005, the Princeton Review ranked it as the second-most liberal college in the United States, declaring that Bard "puts the 'liberal' in 'liberal arts.'" []

In 2003, Bard Professor Joel Kovel drew criticism from controversial conservative columnist Ann Coulter for his book, "", in which he compared anti-communism to a psychiatric disorder. Coulter accused Kovel of holding a "lunatic psychological theory" and counted Bard among the colleges and universities that "have become a Safe Streets program for traitors and lunatics." []

Notable faculty

* Chinua Achebe
* JoAnne Akalaitis
* Peggy Ahwesh
* John Ashbery
* Emily Barton
* Franklin Bruno
* Ian Buruma
* Mary Caponegro
* Caleb Carr
* Bruce Chilton
* Mark Danner
* Tim Davis
* Nicole Eisenman
* Barbara Ess
* Kyle Gann
* Jackie Goss
* Apo Hsu
* Peter Hutton
* Robert Kelly
* Verlyn Klinkenborg
* Ann Lauterbach
* An-My Le
* Erica Lindsay
* Ken Lum
* Norman Manea
* Daniel Mendelsohn
* Bradford Morrow
* Jacob Neusner
* Orhan Pamuk
* Aileen Passloff
* Francine Prose
* Kelly Reichart
* Jennifer Ringo
* Herb Ritz
* Luc Sante
* Stephen Shore
* Mona Simpson
* Richard Teitelbaum
* Michael Tibbetts
* Joan Tower
* George Tsontakis
* Dawn Upshaw
* Lawrence Weschler

Former faculty

* Andre Aciman
* Artine Artinian
* Alfred Jules Ayer
* Saul Bellow
* Heinrich Blücher (buried in the Bard Cemetery with his wife, Hannah Arendt)
* Benjamin Boretz
* James Chace
* Jacob Druckman
* Ralph Ellison
* Harvey Fite
* Heinz Insu Fenkl
* [ Ryszard Frelek]
* William Gaddis
* Garry L. Hagberg
* Daron Hagen
* Bob Holman
* William Humphrey
* Mat Johnson
* Roy Lichtenstein
* Mary McCarthy
* Allan McCollum
* Walter Russell Mead
* Adolfas Mekas
* Toni Morrison
* Vik Muniz
* Elizabeth Murray
* Albert Jay Nock
* Arthur Penn
* David Rieff
* Philip Roth
* Roswell Rudd
* Isaac Bashevis Singer
* Wilhelm Sollmann
* Joseph Somers
* William Weaver
* Ted Weiss
* Werner Wolff

Notable alumni/ae

* Walter Becker, musician and co-founder of Steely Dan
* Sadie Benning, video artist
* Harvey Bialy, molecular biologist
* Laszlo Z. Bito, scientist and novelist
* Ran Blake, pianist
* Anne Bogart, theater director
* Nelson Bragg, percussionist/vocalist with Brian Wilson Band
* Jordan Bridges, actor
* Mary Caponegro, writer
* Chevy Chase, actor
* Phyllis Chesler, author
* Bruce Chilton, Biblical scholar
* Chris Claremont, writer ("X-Men")
* David Cote (writer), critic and writer
* James Curcio, author, musician ("Join My Cult", "", "Babalon")
* Blythe Danner, actress
* Michael Deibert, journalist and author
* Drop the Lime, electronic dance musician
* Rikki Ducornet, writer
* Kit Kauders Ellenbogen, attorney, humanitarian
* Asher Edelman, investment banker, served as the basis for the character Gordon Gekko in Wall Street (film) due to his 1985 takeover of Datapoint.
* Donald Fagen, musician co-founder of Steely Dan
* Ronan Seamus Farrow graduated in 2004 at age 15, making him the youngest student in Bard's history.
* Mark L. Feinsod, filmmaker
* Joel Fields, famous child psychologist
* Theodore J. Flicker, sculptor/film director
* Lola Glaudini, actor ("The Sopranos")
* Joanne Greenbaum, painter
* Ken Grimwood, author
* Christopher Guest, actor/director ("This is Spinal Tap", "Waiting for Guffman", "Best in Show")
* Larry Hagman, actor
* Todd Haynes, filmmaker
* Anthony Hecht, poet
* Gaby Hoffmann, actor
* Howard Koch, screenwriter ("Casablanca", "Letter from an Unknown Woman")
* Pierre Joris, poet and translator
* Jack Lewis, musician (known as "Lesser Lewis")
* Jamie Livingston, photographer/cinematographer
* Rhoda Levine,choreographer, theatre and opera director (NYC Opera)"Play it By Ear", children's book writer
* Malerie Marder, photographer
* Molly Zenobia (Matrisciano), musician
* Susan Mernit, Netscape and America Online executive
* Thom Mount, former head of Universal Studios, and leading independent movie producer.
* Hal Niedzviecki, novelist
* Albert Jay Nock, author and theorist
* Olde English, sketch comedy group
* Alexis Papahelas, journalist
* Ellen Parker, actress, "the Guiding Light".
* Zeena Parkins, avant-garde harpist
* Daniel Pinkwater, novelist and NPR commentator
* Lorelle Phillips, notable educator in early child development Sarah Lawrence
* Roger Phillips, abstract sculptor
* Louis Proyect, activist
* Rosalie Purvis, theater director
* Herb Ritts, photographer
* Thomas Rockwell author, "How to Eat Fried Worms", Shakespeare Scholar
* Robert Rose, physician
* Jonathan Rosenbaum, film critic
* Eric Schaeffer, writer, director, actor
* Carolee Schneeman, artist
* Janet Zimmerman Segal psychologist, director of Four Winds
* Elliott Sharp, musician
* Rachel Sherman, author
* Richard M. Sherman, songwriter and screenwriter
* Robert B. Sherman, songwriter and screenwriter
* Amy Sillman, painter
* Robert Solotaire, painter
* Juliana Spahr, poet and critic
* Peter Schmidt, playwright
* Matt Taibbi, journalist ("The Nation", "The eXile", "The NY Press", "Rolling Stone")
* Michael Tolkin, filmmaker, novelist
* Arthur Tress, photographer
* Alexandra Wentworth, actor/comedian
* John Yau, poet, publisher
* Sherman Yellen, screenwriter/playwright/lyricist; political essayist on Huffington Post and The Environmentalist
* Molly Zenobia, musician
* Nick Zinner, musician (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Head Wound City)

Notable dropouts/ transferees

* Salvador Carrasco, film director/writer "(The Other Conquest)"; transferred to NYU
* Michael Lemkin, professional high-stakes poker player and U.S. money manager
* David Frankel, film director ("The Devil Wears Prada", "Marley & Me")
* Adrian Grenier, actor ("Entourage")
* Trey Phillips, original member of MTV's Laguna Beach cast
* Lynn Samuels, radio personality (Sirius Radio)
* Peter Sarsgaard, actor ("Garden State", "Kinsey", "Jarhead")
* Billy Steinberg, American songwriter
* Larry Wachowski, filmmaker ("The Matrix")
* Adam Yauch, musician (Beastie Boys)

Bard College in Media and Popular Culture

* Bard is described as "My Old School" in the Steely Dan song of the same name in which Donald Fagen remembers "when you put me on The Wolverine up to Annandale." Some inaccurately perceive the song to associate Fagen with another school — the College of William and Mary — because there is a well known lyric in it where Fagen croons: "wo-oh, William and Mary won't do." Fagen sings he will only return to Bard when "California tumbles into the sea". He returned in 1985 as a guest speaker during commencement that year, accepting an Honorary Doctorate degree from the college.
* In the "X-Men" comics, Jean Grey's father John is mentioned as being a professor of history at Bard. The hamlet of Annandale-On-Hudson is known as Jean Grey's hometown and where her parents have resided for the entire duration of the series. According to the comics, Professor Xavier is also an alum of Bard, where Professor Grey taught him history. Jean Grey's gravesite was at the chapel, following her supposed death after the Dark Phoenix saga. The character of Senator Robert Kelly is reportedly named after the famed Bard poetry professor.
*In the television series "The Sopranos", Jennifer Melfi's son, Jason, attends Bard.
* Mary McCarthy's novel, "The Groves of Academe", is ostensibly set in Bard during the late forties, when she taught there.
* In Thomas M. Disch's novel "Camp Concentration" the narrator Louis Sacchetti is described as having attended Bard.
* Charles Rosen's book "" chronicles the author's experience coaching basketball at Bard College in 1979-80.
* In an episode of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart", Stewart made a joke about a hypothetical left-wing blog, the address of which ended in "".
* Bard College President Leon Botstein appeared on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" on June 4, 2007.
*The [ Bard Prison Initiative] was featured on "60 Minutes" on April 15, 2007. []


External links

* [ Official website]


# Princeton Review Website: Bard College (
# [ America's Best Colleges 2007: Liberal Arts Colleges: Top Schools]
# [ History of Bard at]
# [ History of Bard at]
# [ History of Bard at]
# [ Bard Prison Initiative Website]
# [ "Maximum Security Education"]
# [ Bard Prison Initiative Website]
# [ A Brief History of the Bard Free Press]
# [|Proving Laws of Probability, Caltech Snaps Losing Streak] , Morning Edition
# [ Princeton Review's Top 10 Most Politically Liberal Colleges, via MSN]

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