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 Heinz O. and Elizabeth C. Bertelsmann Campus Center, a 30,000-square-foot facility that opened in 1999, is a central meeting place on campus. It contains the college bookstore and post office; the Career Development, Trustee Leader Scholar Program, and Student Activities Offices; Down the Road Café; the 100-seat Weis Cinema; lounge areas; public e-mail terminals; multipurpose and conference rooms; a student computer lab; meeting rooms for student clubs and organizations; and art gallery space. The signature exterior feature is a spacious second-floor deck on the building’s south side. The Campus Center is named for Heinz Bertelsmann, professor of international relations at Bard from 1947 to 1977, and Elizabeth “Lilo” Bertelsmann, a teacher of German and noted photographer, whose generous gift funded its construction.