"Please accept my congratulations on your acceptance to Bard College," writes Bard president Leon Botstein. "I want to welcome you into a college community that cherishes the life of the mind but also seeks to link the spirit of inquiry to public service and engagement with life in society."
When you arrive at Bard, the Language and Thinking Program and First-Year Seminar in particular will encourage you to take your place in an outstanding student body working with a fine faculty whose commitment to teaching and scholarship is remarkable.
Bard regards learning as a joy. As the Roman philosopher Seneca put it, true joy is a serious thing. But we also believe that institutions of higher education have a duty to address problems that affect our country and the world, particularly in the realm of education. That belief is manifest in programs such as the Bard Prison Initiative, which restores opportunities for higher education for inmates, and the Bard High School Early Colleges in New York City and Newark, public schools that rethink the traditional model of high school education.
In the next couple of weeks, you will probably be visiting several campuses, including Bard. Some of you may have already decided to come to Bard, and some may have decided to attend other institutions. In the end, each of you should feel excited about as well as comfortable in the place you pursue your undergraduate education. We hope each of you will choose Bard. Of course every institution thinks of itself as special, but few campuses possess a truly distinctive character and spirit. Bard is particularly proud of the atmosphere of seriousness and enthusiasm that is generated at the College with respect to the experience in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community at large.
I am sure each of you will flourish in your college years. The purpose of a college education is to reframe your ambitions, heighten your expectations, and place yourself on the path to realizing your highest aspirations. What you accomplish in college is far more important than where you go. I again congratulate you on being admitted to Bard. And I assure you that should you choose Bard, I and my colleagues will do everything in our power to make sure that you have the most challenging and constructive experience we can provide.
Bard College deposited first-year students may apply to spend one or both semesters of their first year at Bard College Berlin, joining a close-knit, international community in the heart of the intellectual and artistic hub of Europe. Click to learn more about the program.