August 21–23, 2020
At the commencement ceremony, Bard President Leon Botstein will confer 445 undergraduate degrees on the Class of 2020 and 163 graduate degrees. The program begins at 2:30 p.m. in the commencement tent on the Seth Goldfine Memorial Rugby Field.
Owing to the severity and longevity of the COVID-19 pandemic, the College will hold a modified commencement. The events and ceremonies will be held in real time, but access to them will be limited. Therefore most participation in the events will be virtual. Everything will be done and streamed in real time and the entire weekend will be recorded and available for viewing after the fact.
The traditional commencement tent will be erected on the Seth Goldfine Memorial Field, next to Kline Commons, and it is likely that all the events scheduled will take place there. Please note that this schedule is subject to change as a consequence of public health policies and regulations.
Friday, August 21
Saturday, August 22
Sunday, August 23
Musician David Byrne to Deliver 2020 Commencement Address at Bard College
Bard's Commencement program will include the presentation of honorary doctoral degrees. The Commencement address will be given by musician David Byrne, who will receive an honorary doctorate of fine arts. Honorary degrees will also be awarded to multimedia artist Laurie Anderson, physicist Steven Chu, composer Gao Xiaosong, curator Thelma Golden, Brooklyn Public Library President Linda E. Johnson, educational historian Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, and biophysicist George D. Rose ’63.
Looking Back: Commencement 2019
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell Gives the 2019 Commencement Address
Mayor Catrell urged Bard College graduates to "be impatient with injustice." She focused on the College's history of nontraditional leadership as well as her own, and how Bard students and alumni/ae have worked with her to rebuild the City of New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina struck.
President Leon Botstein Gives the Charge to the Class of 2019
"Honor truth, but with modesty and humility." President Botstein urged graduates to insist on evidence and facts, and also to admit and even embrace their mistakes.
James Chambers '81 Welcomes Attendees to Bard College Commencement 2019
“Bard gives us the opportunity to learn that learning never stops.” —James Chambers '81, chair of the Bard College board of trustees, welcomes attendees to Bard's 159th Commencement exercises on May 25, 2019.
"We have a changing world, and we need dynamic, unconventional leadership every step of the way. You’ve been equipped with all the tools that you need in your toolbox. Now, it’s simply time to use each and every one of them."
—Mayor LaToya Cantrell to the Class of 2019