Bard College held its one hundred fifty-fifth commencement on Saturday, May 23, 2015. At the commencement ceremony, Bard President Leon Botstein conferred 420 undergraduate degrees on the Class of 2015 and 148 graduate degrees, including master of fine arts; doctor and master of philosophy and master of arts in decorative arts, design history, and material culture; master of business administration in sustainability; master of arts in teaching; master of arts in curatorial studies; master of science in environmental policy and in climate science and policy; and master of music in vocal arts and in conducting. The commencement address was given by Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. Ifill received an honorary doctorate of laws. Honorary degrees were also awarded to dancer and choreographer Arthur Aviles ’87, neurobiologist Cori Bargmann, historian Anthony Grafton, and artist Kiki Smith.
Bard College senior Annie Trowbridge, from Peterborough, New Hampshire, has been awarded the prestigious Thomas J. Watson Foundation 2015–16 Fellowship, which provides for a year of exploration outside the United States. Each Watson Fellow receives a grant of $30,000 for 12 months of travel and independent study. Trowbridge has won for her proposal “Wool: A Tactile Tradition of Meaning and Ritual.” She will spend the 2015–16 academic year traveling through Iceland, Scotland, Peru, Chile, Nepal, and Laos studying wool working. 03-31-2015 http://www.bard.edu/news/releases/pr/fstory.php?id=2676
Nineteen student-athletes from Bard have qualified for the Liberty League's 2014–15 All-Academic Teams in their respective sports. Commissioner Tracy King announced that 228 athletes earned the distinction across the league. Winter championship sports include men's and women's basketball, men's squash, and men's and women's swimming and diving. To be recognized as a member of the All-Academic Team, a student-athlete must be a sophomore or higher in class standing with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.20. 03-04-2015 http://bardathletics.com/news/2015/3/5/MBB_0305150927.aspx
A paper by Bard College Berlin student Dylan Davis (B.A. 2016, USA) on the relationship between hate and equality has won an essay contest across several Bard-affiliated campuses. In the fall of 2014, students at Bard College and its partners at Al-Quds University in the West Bank, the American University of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan, and Bard College Berlin participated in the Academic Initiative on Hate and the Human Condition. Courses that explored and reflected on the problem of hate were offered at participating campuses, and final papers written by students in these classes were eligible for the essay contest. Following the evaluation by a panel of judges from the four institutions, Dylan Davis's paper "Beyond Hate: Exploring the Relationship Between Hate and Equality" was selected as the winner. 02-26-2015 http://www.berlin.bard.edu/news/view/archive/2015/march/article/student-paper-selected-winner-in-essay-competition-across-bard-campuses/
Bard students Julia Minin '16 and Jared Rabinowitz '16 participated in the 56th Annual U.S. Air Force Academy Assembly, held February 2–4 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The topic for this year's assembly was "U.S.-Russia Relations: Refocus. Rebuild. Reenergize." Convened annually since 1959, the Academy Assembly is a student-planned, undergraduate conference held by the Air Force Academy and cosponsored with Columbia University's American Assembly. This year's conference focused on the current crisis in Ukraine. Student delegates are divided into small roundtables moderated by senior representatives from academia and government. Distinguished speakers provide expert perspective and information on the topic at hand. This year's keynote speaker was Michael McFaul, the former U.S. ambassador to Russia. The Bard students' attendance was supported by a grant from the Mellon Foundation. 02-12-2015
The campus contains more than 70 buildings of varied architectural styles, from 19th-century stone houses and riverfront mansions to structures designed by noted contemporary architects. Most of the College's facilities are clustered at the center of campus: Kline Commons, with its main student dining hall and meeting places for students and faculty; classrooms; libraries; the computer centers; science labs; art studios; and the gymnasium. The Bertelsmann Campus Center provides a spacious setting for social and intellectual exchange among members of the Bard community. The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts contains two theaters and offers student performances and professional music, dance, and theater. Several residence halls are located in the central campus area, while others are within easy walking or bicycling distance. A free shuttle provides regular service between the campus and the neighboring towns of Red Hook, Rhinebeck, and Tivoli.