Reamer Kline


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Reamer Kline’s book Education for the Common Good: A History of Bard College the First 100 Years, 1860-1960 (pdf) is an essential and highly readable reference work for anyone interested in the history of this college. An added chapter by Leon Botstein warmly acknowledges both the 14 years of Dr. Kline’s tenure as president (1960-1974), and Reamer himself. 

Published at Bard in 1982, this book has long been out of print. The links below provide printable pdf files of individual chapters and useful appendices. Those of us who jealously guard our copies of this lovely book can now relax: Education for the Common Good is now freely available to all.

Education for the Common Good
A History of Bard College the First 100 Years, 1860-1960:
Introductions and Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - The River and the Valley
Chapter 2 - The Professor, the Bishop, and the Country Squire
Chapter 3 - The Great Warden and his College
Chapter 4 - A Victorian Hold-Over in the Twentieth Century
Chapter 5 - B.I. Bell and the Flood-Tide of Fame
Chapter 6 - The Marriage with Columbia University
Chapter 7 - Bard, Independent and Progressive
Appreciation: The Reamer Kline Years by Leon Botstein

In late December of 1967, Bard College president Reamer Kline was interviewed by Chanler Chapman for his weekly radio program on WEOK FM, a complement to his local newspaper, the Barrytown Explorer. The ensuing conversation covered topics including the unconventionality of Bard students; Schuyler House, then girls’ dormitory, located in Rhinebeck; Bard’s relationship with the Episcopal church; the high cost of a Bard education ($3200); and the historic excellence of Bard’s faculty, with mention made of Andrews Wanning, Bill Driver, Fritz Shafer, Clair Leonard, and Emil Hauser.

Listen to the interview (47.8MB/approx. 21 minutes long)


Louise and Reamer Kline, center, at the annual Blithewood picnic, ca. 1969.  Also present,
from left: Kay Dewsnap (standing); Bill Walters; Curtmarie Crane; and Fred Crane (at Reamer's left).