Message from the President

Dear <<First Name>>,

As we begin our 2021-22 program year, I am very pleased to report that 285 members have renewed their LLI membership. Last April, Council raised our membership cap from 330 to 350, and we are offering admittance via lottery this year. We had many more applicants than available spaces reflecting both member satisfaction and widespread community interest in Bard LLI. Our participating members deliver every facet of LLI, and they certainly deserve this excellent response to their superlative ongoing efforts, especially throughout the very challenging past year. Congratulations to all, as we welcome our newest members and encourage every member to join in serving the mission of LLI at Bard College:

LLI provides educational and social opportunities for our members to share their love of learning and to exchange ideas and experiences. LLI offers noncredit and noncompetitive courses and other events under the sponsorship of Bard College. LLI strives to be an inclusive organization and welcomes applicants and members from all backgrounds.

If you have received Bard LLI’s offer of admittance, please respond immediately. If we do not receive either your membership fee payment or a request for tech help or scholarship assistance by July 10, we must offer your space to another applicant. Our schedule does not allow for exceptions. 

We’ve just received exciting updates from Bard about LLI returning to campus, and we’re actively planning our transition from virtual to limited in-person programming. Please understand that this is a complicated process requiring many more volunteers and collaboration with many departments at the college. Please join in! We expect to retain most of our successful Zoom schedule for fall courses, and we’re working right now to add a few on-campus courses to our lineup! We’re also very excited to reinstate plans for our in-person social gatherings, where we’ll enjoy some of Bard’s remarkable programs and venues.

Last month, Council approved the formation of a DEI/Social Justice Task Group to explore the issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice at LLI and potentially offer new course proposals and program suggestions. Those members who responded to the annual member survey showed significant interest in pursuing these important issues. Please read more details in the article inside. Bard has numerous resource groups, as well, and we hope to benefit from their collective experiences and ongoing efforts in many related areas of DEI and social justice. We’re grateful to the members of the Who, Us? Class of 2020 for proposing the diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative at LLI.

For those members who attended the 2021 LLI Annual Meeting last May 14, the draft minutes are now posted on our website under Organization>Structure + People>Council Minutes Archive. Please submit any suggested corrections to my email below. Formal member approval of the minutes will be requested at the next Annual Meeting in May 2022.

While we thankfully return to a more normal life this summer, our commitment to LLI is ongoing. We welcome members new and old to support our 20-year legacy with fresh ideas, willing hands, and generous hearts. Come and share in our collaborative good work, our partnership with Bard, and the sustaining pleasure of learning more about ourselves, our neighbors near and far, and our capacity for embracing vitality in this ever-evolving world.


Member Thoughts on DEI

by Deborah Lanser

The Who, Us? Class of 2020 recently proposed an initiative concerning diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) measures for the Bard LLI Council to consider. Their ideas were reflected in questions included in the 2021 annual survey assessing member interest in ways that Bard LLI can address social issues in our community. Not surprisingly, those questions elicited some strong responses. Here is a brief summary of those responses. 

Read More

Hybrid Makes History

by Gary Miller

As the veil of life under the pandemic begins to lift, Bard LLI faces a sea change not unlike when COVID-19 first tore apart our lives. We remember, thankfully, how a team of dedicated members assembled immediately after the campus closed. Zoom took over. The Online Team dug in and gave valuable time, effort, and skill to make our transition to Zoom not only possible but enjoyable.

Read More

The Historic Beauty of Montgomery Place

by Gary Miller

The Bard Arboretum encompasses the entire campus, including the beautiful Montgomery Place estate. The original campus grounds are open to visitors, but Montgomery Place is the site of much of Bard’s SummerScape program and thus is only open to visitors on Mondays to allow for rehearsals. Consider taking a Monday off and scheduling a visit. This National Historic Landmark's grounds are well worth the visit, whether you want to sit in the tranquil gardens, hike a trail to see the Sawkill River waterfall or view the grounds designed by historic landscape designers. And the westward views of the Hudson River with the Catskill Mountains in the background are breathtaking.

Read More

LLI Gives Grants to Summer Work
by BHSEC Students

by Cathy Reinis

Each year, LLI provides grants to students at Bard High School Early College in Manhattan. The money provides support that allows students to volunteer and to learn in the summer between their junior and senior years.

Read More

Join the Elite Corps of Session Managers

by Felice Gelman and Cathy Reinis

Since June of 2020, LLI has been blessed with a corps of volunteers who make the Zoom classes work. These LLIers, who are session managers, support our presenters by admitting members to classes, spotlighting speakers, reading the Chat, emailing class members, and reassuring all of us with their calm voices. 

Read More
Council meeting via Zoom

Council Notes from June

There were more applicants than places available in LLI. A random lottery selected those admitted. If some do not pay, membership will be offered to the next people in the lottery, concluding on July 21.

Anne Sunners, who is resigning as Chair of Curricular and Special Programs, thanked everyone who supported her work. Linda Legendre is assuming the chair of the Curriculum Team and attended the Council meeting. Also leaving Council at the end of June are Cathy Reinis and Emily Michael.

Membership Development is seeking additional mentors for our incoming members. New member socials are being planned; as we are allowed back on campus, we will also have campus tours and will help members sign up for Bard IDs and parking permits.

A new DEI/Social Justice Task Group will be charged with developing plans to respond to member interest through our courses, education programs, and exploration of Bard and other LLI resources.

Highlights of the Bard Calendar

by Felice Gelman

Bard is cautiously reopening its campus to small, invited groups over the summer although classroom buildings remained closed. In July, the Bard community and the public will be able to participate in a mix of in person and virtual events.  

The Hessel Museum of Art has a new exhibition, “With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972-1985”  which will run through the end of November.  You can reserve free timed tickets here

On July 7, from 8-9 p.m. Bard’s literary magazine Conjunctions will celebrate its 40th anniversary with online readings by several of its authors. You can learn more about the authors who will be reading and register for the event here

The Bard Farm Stand will be open each Thursday from 1- 5 pm on Library Road. Bring your own bag to shop for fresh produce. 

This column focuses on events that are free to the Bard Community but take a look at the Fisher Center events page to purchase tickets, both virtual and in-person, to the Bard SummerScape and Bard Music Festival events. 

Important Dates for LLI Members

July 1: New members are notified of their admittance.

July 1 - July 10: New member payments are due.

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

July 13: Membership Development Zoom Meeting at 1 p.m. If you would like to attend, please email Robert Inglish at

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

July 26:
New member welcome letters are sent out.

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

August 10: Membership Development meeting at 1 p.m. If you would like to attend, please email Robert Inglish at

August 16: Council Meeting on Zoom at 9:30 a.m. If you would like to attend, please email Linda Stanley at

August 26: Fall catalog available (Website and ProClass)

September 1 - September 16: New member orientation

This newsletter is a publication of Bard LLI Council. Communications Team Chair: Cathy Reinis. Writers and editors: 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.

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