Commencement 2015

Save the Date: May 27-29, 2016

The schedule and online registration will be available in February of 2016.


Commencement Weekend

The 2016 schedule will be posted in February of 2016.

See the 2015 Commencement schedule below.


 Looking for Reunion Weekend? Click here.

Friday, May 22, 2015

2–9 pm Registration
Bertelsmann Campus Center, George Ball Lounge
2–4 pm Alumni/ae-Student Rugby Games
Lorenzo Ferrari Field Complex, north field
Sponsored by the Department of Athletics and Recreation and the Bard College Alumni/ae Association.
2 pm Alumnae-Student Women's Rugby Game
3 pm Alumni-Student Men's Rugby Game
5–9 pm

President's Awards Ceremony and Dinner

Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts
Alumni/ae and friends are invited to join the president of the Bard College Alumni/ae Association Board of Governors, Peter Criswell '89, as we honor the exceptional achievements of members of the Bard community. $55 for adults, $28 for children 7-12. Advanced registration required.

Recipients of 2015 Awards
Bard Medal
Marieluise Hessel

John and Samuel Bard Award in Medicine and Science
Ilyas Washington ’96

Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters
Charlotte Mandell ’90

John Dewey Award for Distinguished Public Service
Harvey L. Sterns ’65

Mary McCarthy Award
Alice McDermott

The Bardian Award
Benjamin La Farge
Martha J. Olson
Mark Lytle
Justus Rosenberg
Hap Tivey
5 pm Cocktail Reception
Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, Sosnoff Lobby
6:30 pm Awards Ceremony
Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, Sosnoff Theater
7:30 pm Dinner
Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, Weis Atrium, Thorne and Resnick Studios
Reunion classes will be seated together.

9 pm Jazzfest
The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Center, Blum Hall
Malcolm Cecil, Michael Gold ’79, Richard Gordon, Neal Grover ’79, Emily Hay ’78, Harvey Nosowitz ’76, and Markus Pinney ’78 play together again in memory of Larry McLeod ’76 and Frank Carter ’79. All are welcome.

9:30 pm Concert
Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, Sosnoff Theater
Bard College soloists and composers in concert with members of the American Symphony Orchestra, Leon Botstein, conductor. Seating is first come, first served. Registration and tickets are not required.


Contact the Office of Special Events at or 845-758-7867.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

7:30 am Walking Tour of Bard Lands with Assistant Professor Bruce Robertson
Meet at Blithewood north lawn
Includes a boxed continental breakfast.
$7 per person. Advanced reservations required.
9 am–
2:30 pm &
5–7 pm
9 am–2:30 pm: Bertelsmann Campus Center, George Ball Lounge
5–7 pm: Blithewood north lawn
9–10 am Commencement Breakfast
Kline Dining Commons
Complimentary continental breakfast for graduating seniors, their families, faculty, and trustees.
10 am Senior Project Panel
Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation, László Z. Bitó '60 Auditorium
Members of the Class of 2015 present their Senior Projects.
11 am–1:30 pm Brunch
Kline Dining Commons, Main Dining Room
For graduating seniors, their families, alumni/ae, and guests.
$20 for adults, $10 for children 7-12, free to children 6 and under.
11:30 am–1:30 pm Graduate Program Lunch
Blithewood north lawn
For Class of 2015 graduates of the Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture; Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts; International Center of Photography-Bard Program in Advanced Photographic Studies; Bard Center for Environmental Policy; Master of Business Administration in Sustainability; Center for Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture; Master of Arts in Teaching Program; Graduate Conducting Program and Vocal Arts Program of The Bard Conservatory of Music. For more information, please contact Marie Balogh. Reservations required.
Complimentary for Class of 2015 graduates, faculty, and staff.
$30 per person for friends and family.
12–1 pm Bard Georgian Ensemble
Bard Hall
Come hear the Bard Georgian Ensemble perform traditional polyphonic folk songs from the Republic of Georgia.


  Academic Procession
The Class of 2015, trustees, and faculty are invited to march in the academic procession. Academic attire is required.

Honorary Degrees

Sherrilyn Ifill
Commencement Speaker
Doctor of Laws

Arthur Aviles '87
Doctor of Fine Arts
Alumni/ae Honorary Degree

Cori Bargmann
Doctor of Science

Anthony Grafton
Doctor of Humane Letters

Kiki Smith
Doctor of Fine Arts

2 pm Formation of the Academic Procession
Annandale Road, south of the Chapel of the Holy Innocents
2:30 pm Commencement Exercises
Seth Goldfine Memorial Field, Commencement tent
Celebrate the graduation of the Class of 2015 and the awarding of honorary degrees.
5–6:30 pm Commencement Reception
Kline Commons Terrace
5–6:30 pm Reception for Graduate Students (Masters and PhD)
Multipurpose Room, Bertelsmann Campus Center

Commencement Barbecue

Blithewood north lawn
5–6:30 pm Reception
Blithewood north lawn
Cash bar
6:30–8:30 pm Dinner
Blithewood north lawn
$25 per adult, $18 per child 7–12, free to children 6 and under. Advanced reservations recommended. Onsite tickets will be $30 per adult and $18 per child 7-12; however, we cannot guarantee that tickets will be available on the day of the event.
7:30–11:30 pm Dance to live music
Blithewood north lawn
9:00 pm Fireworks
Blithewood west lawn
9:00 pm Jazzfest
The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Center, Blum Hall
Malcolm Cecil, Michael Gold ’79, Richard Gordon, Neal Grover ’79, Emily Hay ’78, Harvey Nosowitz ’76, and Markus Pinney ’78 play together again in memory of Larry McLeod ’76 and Frank Carter ’79. All are welcome.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

9:30–10:30 am Community Memorial Service
Chapel of the Holy Innocents
In honor of alumni/ae, faculty, and special friends of the College who died during the past year. Officiants: Bard College Chaplaincy.
10:30 am–12:30 pm Alumni/ae Brunch
Kline Dining Commons
Members of the Class of 2015 are now alumni/ae. Alumni/ae are invited with their families to join other alumni/ae for a delicious brunch. Hear the inside scoop on Bard from the President of the College, the President of the Bard College Alumni/ae Association, and members of the faculty. Price per person: $24, price per child ages 7–12: $12, free to children 6 and under. Advanced registration recommended.
12:30 pm Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Bard College Alumni/ae Association
Kline Dining Commons, Faculty Dining Room
Alumni/ae interested in volunteering for alumni/ae committees and programs are cordially invited to attend.

Commencement FAQ 

When should I get to campus?

Some families arrive on Friday. Others arrive on Saturday. Check with your student; they may have previously scheduled activities.

As a parent, may I attend Baccalaureate or Senior Dinner?

No, due to limited capacity, the Senior Dinner and Baccalaureate ceremony are reserved for graduating seniors only.

Do we need tickets?

No. The Commencement tent opens at 1:00pm, and seating is first come, first served. We recommend that you to arrive as early as possible.

When will I receive a formal invitation?

In March, each graduating senior will receive five invitations and envelopes (one is sent to the student via campus mail, and four are mailed to the parents). If you need more, extras are available through the Center for Student Life and Advising. You do not need an invitation to attend, nor do you need to bring it with you to gain access to the tent.

Do you offer live streaming of Commencement?

Yes, there will be a live webcast of the commencement ceremony, beginning at 2:30pm on May 23. The link will be posted on the Bard website approximately a week prior.

Are graduates photographed as they cross the stage?

A photographer captures each student's image as she/he steps off the stage, so there’s no need to rush up to the stage for this memorable moment. Images are emailed the week following the event.

Is there handicapped seating?

Handicapped seating will be available. We ask that no more than three guests accompany the person requiring assistance. When you enter the tent, ask the Junior Marshals where the seating is located.

Will there be handicapped parking for Commencement?

Yes, handicapped parking spaces will be located on Library Road, adjacent to the commencement tent. In the likely event that capacity has been reached in the lot, you are welcome to drop off members of your family at Library Road, before parking your vehicle elsewhere. There are also golf carts around campus to shuttle visitors to various locations.

Where and when do students pick up their cap and gown? What’s the process?

Students pick up caps and gowns at the Bard Campus Bookstore, in Bertlesmann Campus Center. Caps and gowns will be available for pick up approximately a week before commencement. The bookstore orders a variety of sizes to accommodate all students. Please note: Prior to cap and gown pick up, the student’s account needs to be paid in full.

If your student is a December graduate, how do they receive a cap and gown?

They may pick up a cap and gown at the Campus Bookstore Commencement morning. Otherwise, they can ask a friend to pick them up in advance.

When do seniors need to vacate their dorm rooms?

Seniors must vacate rooms by 3:00pm on Sunday, May 24.

Are pets allowed?

Only service animals are permitted on campus during Commencement exercises.

Can I stay on campus?

Unfortunately, no. Off-campus housing may be found here.

Where do I find a list of accommodations near campus?

A comprehensive list of nearby hotels, inns, and B&Bs may be found on the Bard website. We recommend booking your accommodations as soon as possible.

Will there be shuttle service between Bard’s campus and local hotels and train stations?

There will be no shuttle service between campus and hotels. However, shuttles will be available on Saturday morning at the Amtrak station in Rhinecliff. Guests are responsible for making their own return travel arrangements to the train station. The pick-up schedule will be posted on the College’s transportation website.

Where do I pick up my meal tickets?

Bertelsmann Campus Center, Fri 2-11pm, Sat 9am-2:30pm
Blithewood north lawn, Sat 5-7pm

Are there menu options for people with special dietary concerns?

Yes, we make every effort to accommodate dietary needs. Vegan options will be available at the barbecue and Kline Dining Commons.

What happens if I purchase meal tickets and don’t use them? Can I get a refund?

All requests for refunds must be submitted by May 15.

Can I pay onsite for the Saturday barbecue?

A limited number of tickets will be available on site, but we recommend you register ahead. The cost of the barbecue increases after May 15.

Can we come for fireworks and dancing if we don’t purchase barbecue tickets?

Yes, bring a blanket, flashlight, and enjoy. Fireworks begin at dark, around 9:00pm.

Do I include my graduating senior when I register for meals?

The meal plan ends at dinner on Friday, May 22, so plan to purchase tickets for your student for any meals after that date. The barbecue, however, will be free for graduating seniors. Prior registration for the complementary ticket is required.