Message from the President

Dear <<First Name>>,

We’re ending our program year with SummerFest's terrific courses. Register through June 11. Don’t forget to renew your LLI membership by June 21 and encourage others to join. Spread the word!

Here’s the main takeaway from the year we leave behind: our volunteers made this an outstanding year for LLI. They surpassed all expectations in delivering the courses and programs that kept us active and together throughout this pandemic. We’ve all been touched by their matchless determination and skill. Thank you for sending such appreciative comments in your annual member survey responses. Read more in the survey article below.

Volunteering at LLI is not a requirement, but it is the best benefit of membership. As I said at the annual meeting, through working together, we’ve deepened our bonds and found new friends we never imagined. As we continue our online program, we’re also planning our return to campus, and we need more members to volunteer. From completing a one-time task to taking a seat on Council, your participation makes LLI better for everyone. The truth really is that “many hands make light work.”

As we look towards the fall, we see the world opening up, although with some understandable confusion, even at LLI. Yes, we’re planning another Zoom fall semester, but we’d like to offer some in-person courses and social gatherings on and off campus, with the expectation of a full return to Bard classrooms next spring. We also anticipate increasing our super-exciting hybrid offerings. We hope to meet with Bard’s administration very soon to see what’s possible for the fall and beyond.

Right now, we need techies and not-so-techies, session managers, class managers, hospitality lovers, and mentors for new a start. All members are invited to attend the Curriculum meetings where new course proposals are always welcomed!

Want to introduce our new members to LLI and, soon, the Bard campus? Help our members find ways to volunteer? Plan a social gathering? Join the Membership Development Committee and see what’s happening. We love new ideas!

Our monthly newsletter is one of the finest volunteer publications anywhere. If you like to write, edit, take photographs, research, interview….visit a Communications Team meeting and get involved. Are you wowed by our extraordinary website? Our small, but amazing Website Team maintains and refreshes the LLI site; volunteering can keep your tech skills sharp and help you learn new ones. These are just a few suggestions.

My optimism about LLI comes from seeing the enthusiasm and gratitude of our members. We’re versatile, interesting, and smart, with wisdom galore! We all joined LLI because we want to keep learning for a lifetime. Volunteering certainly brings that! Even better, we know the satisfaction and joy of sharing in a job well done, the oft-sung benefit of generosity and participation. We’re a great team, and we welcome everyone. Send me an email, and I’ll get you connected. Our future is now.


Granting Access to Artists

by Cathy Reinis

Bard LLI donates $2,500 each year to the Fund for Visual Learning.

When Ellen Driscoll, Program Director of Studio Arts, came to Bard in 2013, she spent her first year on the job listening. To her dismay, she learned that the Studio Arts Program was perceived to be a realm only for the privileged. It was just too expensive for students with limited finances to buy the materials they needed. So she devised a plan.

Read More

20th Annual Meeting

by Felice Gelman

LLI’s 20th annual meeting was held on May 14, with 74 members attending on Zoom. After an entertaining poll, in which 100% of the participants admitted they had lost count of how many times this year they had said, “You’re muted,” our President, Nanci Kryzak, opened the meeting. Once the minutes of 2020’s annual meeting were approved, Nanci moved on to discuss this unprecedented year where everything went online—courses, committee meetings, Council meetings, and social gatherings. She lauded the determination and dedication of the volunteers who sustained us through this period and the willingness of members to adopt new technologies and maintain their participation in all our activities.

Read More

What We Are Thinking

by Deborah Lanser

As in past years, the annual survey evoked a number of interesting, helpful comments about LLI, both in terms of what members liked and what they wanted to be changed. In fact, the 149 respondents had so many ideas that we will publish the results in two separate articles. For this month, here is a representative sample of what members had to say about different types of learning experiences, the advantages and challenges of our technology, opportunities for volunteering, and ideas for new courses. Next month’s article will summarize the feedback about exploring social justice issues in LLI classes.

Read More

Evaluations from a Producer’s Perspective

by Deborah Lanser

From a numerical perspective, the results from the latest course evaluations are excellent: the average rating for course content was 9.31 and for presenters was 9.28, with 10 being the top possible score. The Curriculum Team can take pride in those impressive numbers. But as anyone familiar with statistics can tell you, average scores don’t tell the whole story. Occasionally, courses and presenters were rated as low as 3 or 4, and one member gave out 0s. This is why the producers on the Curriculum Team find the comments to be essential reading to determine whether the course met member expectations and to see how course content and presentations can be improved.

Read More

Spring Has Sprung at Bard (Well, Mostly)

by Gary Miller

The Bard gardens, normally filled with Bard LLI members this time of year, are afflicted with two major challenges. One is COVID-19. The other is restoration. Both affect us in unique and important ways.

The pandemic’s most dramatic effect on our relationship with the gardens is that there is none. We are simply not allowed on campus at the moment. But hope is on the horizon and for that reason let’s take a look at our treasured gardens, where they are now, and what might happen in the future. This month we will talk about Blithewood and next month about Montgomery Place.

Read More

Membership Renewal Reminder

by Margaret Shuhala

Have you renewed your Bard LLI membership for the 2021-2022 school year? Membership renewal opened on June 1 and will continue until June 21. You may use the renewal application link you received by email on June 1, or you may access the membership renewal and payment form on our website,, or at LLI Membership Renewal. You may make payment via Visa or Mastercard credit or debit cards only.

If you need any help with the renewal process, please email

After June 21, we will offer any openings in our membership to people who have submitted new member applications. If you have friends interested in becoming LLI members, tell them to go to our website,, to find directions on applying to LLI. If there are more applications for membership than openings, new members will be selected by lottery, with a few exceptions for those with skills needed by LLI.

Play Ball!

By Gary Miller

We’re all too familiar with the positives and negatives of Zoom courses. On the plus side, it’s great to see faces with names and to learn from presenters who have embraced the new technology, without having to walk up and down the hills of the campus in the pouring rain or snow. The minus, of course, is lack of face-to-face interaction, having coffee and snacks in Bertelsman 305, or sharing thoughts over lunch.

Nathan Brenowitz’s recent class, Baseball as a Metaphor for Life, did both. For six weeks we smiled, laughed, and nodded heads as “the former third baseman for the New York Mets” [editor note: it’s not true] presented via Zoom. Nathan guided us through how baseball touches all of us in a variety of ways. Challenge. Failure. Motivation.Training. Baseball is a universal language, and week by week we spoke it more fluently. All on our computer screens.

The last class, however, was something no one expected. On a baseball field in Woodstock NY, we played wiffleball! Wiffleball, as you may remember, is a game played by young children and cranky adults of a certain, ahem, age group.

Talk about fun! We struck out, hit infield singles and flies to center field, tagged out in double plays, and in short put Nathan’s ideas to the real life test.

When asked about presenting the course, he answered, “The most surprising thing to me was everyone’s focus and enthusiasm,” he said, then adding with a wry smile, “They stepped up to the plate ready to swing for the fences.”

Here’s the video, celebrating the fun and excitement.

Pay Your Membership Fees with ProClass

Deborah Schwartz

This is the first year members can pay their membership renewal fees with ProClass. It is easy and quick. From the LLI website, choose Courses in the main navigation bar then select the ProClass Registration link.

Log in to your account, click the Membership link in the upper left, and follow the onscreen prompts to Renew Your Membership (by clicking the 1 Active, 1 Renewal link), click the renew button, and enter your credit card information. You will receive an emailed receipt of your credit card transaction, just as you would with any other online purchase.

Do this by June 21 to renew your membership. Otherwise, LLI assumes you no longer want to be a member and discontinues your membership. If you wish to rejoin LLI next year, you will have to apply again and enter the membership lottery if the number of applicants exceeds the number of open spots.

Read more
Council meeting via Zoom

Council Notes from May

Membership Development is publicizing our membership application period. Members are encouraged to reach out to friends who may be interested in joining LLI.

Linda Still stepped down as chair of Membership Development at the end of the meeting; she is being succeeded by Robert Inglish.

Minutes of the annual meeting—and of all Council meetings—are posted on the website under Organization after they have been approved by the Council.

Highlights of the Bard Calendar

by Felice Gelman

Bard College is not in session in June. Bard SummerScape events begin in July with in-person productions staged for limited audiences both indoors and out. Information on SummerScape programs and ticket sales may be found at

The Bard Farm Stand is open to the public! Bring your own bag to shop. The location is along Library Drive and it is open Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Cash and credit cards accepted.

Important Dates for LLI Members

June 1–June 21: Membership renewal and electronic payment take place. New membership applications are accepted.

June 4–June 25: SummerFest 2021will be held online on the four Fridays in June (June 4, 11, 18, 25); one hybrid gardening class will be held on Thursdays in June (June 3, 10, 17, 24).

June 11: Last day to register for SummerFest.

June 15: Curriculum Committee Zoom Meeting at 10 a.m. If you would like to attend, please email Bill Tuel at

June 21: Council Meeting on Zoom at 9:30 a.m. If you would like to attend, please email Linda Stanley at

June 30: End of the academic year.

July 1: New members are notified of their acceptance.

July 1—10: New member payments are due.

July 8: Zoom Social Event with Lauren Rose, PhD,associate professor of mathematics at Bard College.

July 13: Curriculum Committee Zoom Meeting at 10 a.m. If you would like to attend, please email Bill Tuel at

July 13: New member welcome letters are sent out.

July 19: Council Meeting on Zoom at 9:30 a.m. If you would like to attend, please email Linda Stanley at


This newsletter is a publication of Bard LLI Council. Communications Team Chair: Cathy Reinis. Writers and editors: Rory Carlton, Susan Christoffersen, Felice Gelman, Carmela Gersbeck, Deborah Lanser, Jill Lundquist, Dona McLaughlin, Chuck Mishaan, Kathy OConnor, Susan Phillips, Deborah Schwartz, Margaret Shuhala. Photographers: Gary Miller, Chair, Carmela Gersbeck, Kathy OConnor
Bard LLI Newsletters are always available on our website at

Copyright © 2021 Bard LLI, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.