Bard envisions the liberal arts institution as the hub of a network, rather than a single, self-contained campus. Numerous institutes for special study are available on and off campus, connecting Bard students to the greater community.
The Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College embodies the fundamental belief that education and civil society are inextricably linked. In an age of information overload, it is more important than ever that citizens be educated and trained to think critically and be actively engaged with issues affecting public life.
The Alumni Houses are a collection of 11 residence halls in the center of campus. The houses are commonly referred to as the "Toasters," and mostly house first-year students..
The first of the Alumni Houses were designed by James Polshek and Partners in 1987, and consist of five adjacent residence halls. The first four are named in honor of alumni Richard Rovere '37, William Rueger '40, The Reverend Frederick A. Shafer '37, and John H. Steinway '39. These four house 19 students each. The fifth, Honey House, has space for nine students.
The following pairs of buildings are connected to each other via a balcony: Shafer and Rovere; Reuger and Steinway.
In January of 2001, six additional student residence halls in this area–Bourne, Bluecher, Leonard, Obreshkove, Shelov, and Wolff–opened their doors. These buildings, sometimes referred to as "the Ravines," house between 19 and 21 students each.
The following pairs of buildings are connected to each other in the basement: Shelov and Bourne; Wolff and Obreshkov; Leonard and Bluecher.
The buildings are heated and cooled using a geothermal system.