Welcome to McKenzie House
McKenzie House is named for Bard alumna Emerald Rose McKenzie ’52. McKenzie was one of the first African American women to graduate from Bard, and a scholarship established in her name is awarded to students who display a strong commitment to humanitarian ideals.
About Emerald Rose McKenzie ’52
Emerald Rose McKenzie was one of the first African American women to graduate from Bard. Originally from Nassau in the British West Indies, McKenzie grew up in Brooklyn and went to a school for the blind. She attended Bard College on a full scholarship, majoring in sociology and anthropology. She is remembered by her fellow students as being a beacon of courage and ambition in the face of adversity and for her selfless concern for others. McKenzie became a senior caseworker at the Jewish Guild for the Blind. McKenzie and her Seeing Eye dog, Karen, were a familiar sight on campus during the early 1950s, and her legacy lives on in the annual Emerald Rose McKenzie ’52 Scholarship. The scholarship, established by classmates as part of the 1998 celebration of “Fifty Years of Women at Bard College,” is awarded to students who display a strong commitment to humanitarian ideals.
About Michelle Murray
As an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, House Professor Michelle Murray learned firsthand the importance of placing students in “houses” to boost a sense of community on campus. “Chicago has a very developed house system, which for me was such a significant part of college, so creating something similar here at Bard was important to me,” says Murray, who teaches courses on international relations, great-power politics, human rights and intervention, and global citizenship in the Political Studies Program. “Houses are a great way for students to meet each other and get to know the faculty.”
About Chris McIntosh
While studying for her PhD at the University of Chicago, Murray met fellow McKenzie House Professor Chris McIntosh, who specializes in international relations, security studies, and social theory, and teaches courses on gender and security, ethics/morals in international affairs, terrorism, war, and sovereignty. The couple lives in Walters House and hosts weekly study breaks, where students have come to study and enjoy pizza, brunch, and ice cream socials, as well as an event featuring a speaker on LGBTQ rights during the Language and Thinking Program. Murray and McIntosh enjoy living in the Hudson Valley, still root for their hometown sports teams, and are regular spectators at Bard matches.
From the Archives
McKenzie, seen here with her seeing-eye dog, Karen, lost her vision as a young girl. Gross acted as McKenzie’s “reader” throughout their shared time at Bard. Photograph by David Brook.