Listen to the interview (17.7 MB)
Helene Tieger, '85
Ralph Levine came to Bard from the Bronx High School of Science. At the time, students were only allowed to apply to three colleges; Bard was his safety school. In applying for a scholarship, Levine traveled to Bard for the first time, and recalls assisting Richard Gummere in searching for his own watch-pin during the interview. Levine's intention had been to enroll in the 3-2 Program with Columbia, but dropped this plan when he changed his major from physics to mathematics. [He later earned an M.A.T. and D.Ed. from Harvard University.] The mathematics department at Bard afforded Levine an opportunity to take many electives in music and literature, and he enjoyed working on the school newspaper, the Bard Observer. He took organ with Clair LeonardHe was elected to the Community Council as a Junior and became Chairman as a Senior. Levine remembers tensions between President James Case and the faculty that resulted in a vote of no confidence by the faculty, followed by President Case's decision to resign. At the Board of Trustees' decision to hire Reamer Kline, an Episcopal minister, as Bard's new president, Levine recalls the general concern that the secular nature of the college was 'not assured.' Levine selected a committee to investigate a scholarship fund set up under President Kline specifically for Episcopalian students. Their findings led to a meeting in New York with the Board of Trustees to discuss the situation and Bard's future. Levine eventually felt that President Kline was very good for the college, and cherishes an inscribed copy of President Kline's history of the college, 'Education for the Common Good.' Now an administrator at Stanford University he summarized: "Comparing Stanford with Bard, I'd say that the Bard's women's basketball team is never going to make the Final Four, but in terms of a liberal education I'd say that the schools are quite comparable. They are both excellent places for a liberal arts education."
Bronx High School of Science, City College of New York, Richard Gummere, Rhinebeck, Charles Tremblay, John Simon, Clair Leonard, Community Council, Dorothy Dulles Bourne, Harold Hodgkinson, James Case, Reamer Kline, Jack Blum '62, Bard Observer, Mary Sugatt, Student Fire Department, Leon Botstein, Stanley Schwartz '46, Stanford University, Naomi Parver Taylor, '62, Stephen Hurowitz, '62, Wally Loza, '63
BardCorps trailer, main campus.
Levine, Ralph, "Ralph Levine, '62 (BardCorps)" (2011). Oral Histories. 3.
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