Message from the President

Dear <<First Name>>,

The 20th fall semester at Bard LLI is everything we worked for during these past months. I congratulate our many intrepid members who are making this first online semester a tremendous success! 

Now in our third week of classes, Zoom is a household word, and LLI excitement abounds. Our courses looked great in the ProClass catalog, and we registered in our personal accounts for the first time. Whew! We’re mastering our own devices, and we know where to go for help. Look at how far we’ve come. Best of all, it’s been worth it! Our courses, as we expect at Bard LLI, offer something for everyone, and we’re discovering the surprising benefits of meeting with our presenters and fellow class members in this new way. It’s so very up close and personal, isn’t it? Seeing our names on screen below the many faces in gallery view gives each of us a virtual nametag, and we can easily greet new members and smile with old LLI friends. The preclass gathering time is a boon for staying in touch.

We’ve always been immersed in our courses; that’s a mainstay of LLI. Now we know that learning online can be quite visually stimulating as well. Our devoted producers and presenters have embraced the particular nuances of online teaching, while the session managers willingly became their hands-on tech partners. Each week we uncover silver linings to the online experience. The course content is in full view for everyone. Questions are still encouraged, verbally or in chat. We each control the volume to hear every word and can also stop our own video to stand up and stretch! Look a bit deeper and notice that we’ve all hit our stride, faces old and new are now much more familiar, and we’ve starred our Zoom class links as highlights on our calendars.

LLI is all about learning, sharing ideas, and enjoying our time together. Think about joining in to help create what’s happening here. Everyone has a unique gift, and the door to participation is wide open. 

Today, we all deserve a celebratory toast. Here, here!

Bard LLI’s Curriculum and How It Grew
by Felice Gelman

There is only one subject matter for education, and that is Life in all its manifestations.
-- Alfred North Whitehead
When we look at the rich offerings in the Bard LLI catalog it’s hard to imagine that it took just about a year for our founders to organize and launch the Lifetime Learning Institute at Bard College and begin offering classes. Josette Lee, Carol Lee, and Sara Hardman were the main organizers. (By then Sylvia Erber, whom you read about in our September newsletter, had health issues which kept her from active involvement.) Bard had to be enlisted, an organization had to be formalized and created, and a curriculum had to be developed. Josette created the curriculum committee, the heart of our learning process, perhaps even the heart of what Bard LLI is all about. 
Read More

Bard LLI 2020 Digital Art Show

by Chuck Mishaan

The Annual Bard LLI Art Show has a long history and, despite the challenges of the pandemic, we hope to continue the tradition. Last year, under the direction of Lila Gibbs and Susan Wingate, Bard LLI produced a live show, with hangings across the walls of Bertelsmann Campus Center, and a digital display of the artworks. You can view last year’s submissions here.


Submitting Your Work

The 2020 Art Show will be all digital. We invite interested LLI members to submit images for the show. You can submit photographs or photos of other artworks here.

Submissions are limited to two per artist, and the images can be uploaded directly within the Art Show Application in jpeg, tiff, bmp, or png format, with a maximum image size of 250 mb.

Artists can describe their work, submit a descriptive biography or other commentaries about their submissions, and, if desired, offer the works for sale.


Viewing the 2020 Show

We hope to post the 2020 Art Show selections on the website on October 15th and keep the exhibit available online indefinitely. We look forward to the wonderful display of talent that has characterized our past exhibitions. We know that the Bard LLI membership comprises many skilled artisans and devoted artists, and we welcome the opportunity to give them a platform for display and us a chance to enjoy their work. 

The image above from LLI 2019 Art Show. Dunes by Karen Heusel.
You’re Invited to the November Curriculum Team’s Meeting
by Cathy Reinis

Ever wondered how the Curriculum Team works its magic? Anne Sunners and the team members invite you to Zoom in to their November meeting, which is at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 12. They will be looking at how our virtual fall semester worked out and will be in the thick of planning for the spring.

To be added to the Zoom meeting invite, email Bill Tuel at

If you can’t make it in November, but would like to join a future meeting, email Anne Sunners at The team meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 10:00 a.m.
A Heartfelt But Virtual Welcome
by Cathy Reinis

How was LLI going to make new members feel welcome and show them how to get around LLI Online? Kim Sears and the Membership Development Committee met that challenge with imagination and humor. She and Barbara Burns, Volunteer Coordinator, matched every new member with a current member, and recruited experienced members to serve as mentors, some mentors taking on two or three mentees.

Next, Kim organized Zoom orientation meetings, and used them to show new members how to access our website, how to navigate in Zoom, and how to sign up for classes. Finally, she organized social gatherings in Zoom for groups of mentors and mentees.

Read More
Protect Yourself from Scurrilous Online Knaves
by Deborah Schwartz

How can you protect yourself from scurrilous online knaves? 

LLI does the best we can to protect your privacy. We never share our member list and we limit the number of people who can see your personal information. However, to conduct LLI business, class rosters are shared so producers, presenters, and session managers can contact you with course information and Zoom invites. 

The safest way to protect yourself is to get an LLI email account so your personal email address is never visible. Then, in ProClass, log in, click the My Account button, and change your email address to your LLI email address.

To get an LLI account, contact Al Gersbeck at  
Autumn Walk
This is the first in a series of articles about Montgomery Place by Dona McLaughlin

This has always been a particularly lovely time of year to stroll around Bard’s campus. The grounds are closed to outsiders this fall—but another nearby place to walk is Bard's Montgomery Place, located on River Road, about one mile south of the main campus.

The parking lot there is bordered by crabapple trees now loaded with fruit. Many paths wander through the estate grounds, orchards, and still-blooming gardens, with hiking trails, picnic areas, and panoramic views of the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains. There are over 300 acres to explore.

Though the Welcome Center is closed, and there is an ominous “Beware of Black Bears” sign, it is a soothingly peaceful walk, with sounds of trickling water, a train whistle, catbird calls, and a frog pond.

Bard College has owned Montgomery Place since 2016. It purchased the estate from Historic Hudson Valley, which had held the property since the 1980s.
Unemployment: An Educational Opportunity
By Deborah Lanser

Bard College has responded to the current staggering unemployment rate by establishing another innovative undergraduate program, the Bard Baccalaureate. This program, also known as the BardBac, enrolls adults 24 and older who have lost work because of the economic crisis or whose education had to be deferred for other reasons. Eligible students receive full tuition as well as money to cover their books. They may also apply for federally subsidized student loans to cover their living expenses, since this is a non-residential program.

Before starting the BardBac, the 36 current students had worked as landscape gardeners, entrepreneurs, youth counselors, gas station managers, full-time parents, documentarians, carpenters, massage therapists, immigrants’ rights advocates, or childcare workers. Once enrolled, the students take at least three courses a semester, which will ultimately garner enough credits for a bachelor’s degree. One required course is the Baccalaureate Seminar specifically focused on engagement with the local region. The BardBac exemplifies the college’s belief in the transformative nature of a liberal arts education in a time of civic and social transformation. 
Council Notes from September
LLI members who would like to attend a Council meeting can email Linda Stanley at Because of the limits on the Zoom screen, guests are limited to five.

Linda Still was appointed Chair of Membership Development. Robert Inglish will continue to serve on the committee and to work with Linda.

The Tech Team worked to ensure smooth transitions to both our new ProClass registration system and to holding classes in Zoom. Many members asked for tech help as they navigated ProClass for the first time. Several rehearsals were set up for the session managers, and new session managers were assisted by more experienced session managers.

Note: it is strongly recommended that all LLI members get an email address, which will help protect member privacy. To requisition one, email Al Gersbeck at

The Council discussed the question of recording classes at length and is looking for guidance from Bard College regarding intellectual property issues.
Upcoming Dates for LLI
Important Dates for Members:

October 13 - Curriculum Committee Meeting

October 19 - Council meeting (if you would like to attend, please email Linda Stanley at

November 6 - Fall semester ends

November 12 - Curriculum Committee Open Meeting (if you would like to attend, please email Bill Tuel at

November 16 - Council meeting (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: Susan Christoffersen, Felice Gelman, Carmela Gersbeck, Susan Hinkle, Deborah Lanser, Jill Lundquist, Susan Manuel, Dona McLaughlin, Kathy OConnor, Susan Phillips, Margaret Shuhala. Photographers: Gary Miller, Chair, Carmela Gersbeck, Kathy OConnor
Bard LLI Newsletters are always available on our website at

Copyright © 2020 Bard LLI, All rights reserved.

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