Richard F. Koch, '40 (BardCorps)

Interviewee

Richard F. Koch

Files

Download

Listen to the interview (26.7 MB)

Download Prom registers and matchbooks (3.2 MB)

Download St. Stephen's Alumni Association Reunion, held on athletic field, near former Kappa House. From left to right: Bert M. P. Lafmans '41; Clifford Burgess '37; William H. Jordy '39; woman and man unknown; John C. Honey '39; Richard F. Koch '40; woman unknown. (84.3 MB)

Download Deciding to transfer to Bard from Columbia University (3.6 MB)

Download Class sizes and being Jewish at Bard (5.1 MB)

Download The social scene at Bard (6.6 MB)

Significant Quote

"There were very very few Jews at Bard--and we were not welcome in the fraternities, of which there were three then."

Class Year

1940

Academic Program

Mathematics; Physics

Other Program

Physics Major, Mathematics Major

Interviewer

David Avallone '87; M Mark

Description

Back at Bard in 2000 for his class's 60th reunion, Koch found the campus still familiar. Originally enrolled at Columbia University, he transferred to Bard after reading about it in The New York Times. He describes Bard's approach to teaching as "being rather British," and recalls enjoying the small, tutorial-style classes. A veteran of the Second World War who served in the U.S. Signal Corps, Koch enjoyed the intimacy of his smaller military units which influenced his appreciation for Bard's size. During his time at the college he dabbled in the sciences, going from biology to chemistry before earning a dual degree in physics and mathematics. He remembers the academic environment as "vigorous" when describing an upper-college history course taught by Abbott Smith. Koch also recalls a small social circuit and the exclusion of Jews from the fraternities. He also remembers visiting Vassar College in order to meet female undergraduates, although no one had a car. All in all, Koch fondly remembers his time at Bard and says that the college was, and remains, very important to him.

Dick Koch died in 2012.

Keywords

Columbia University, Vassar College, Washington University in St. Louis, Theodore Sottery, Vasil Obreshkove, Edward Fuller, Harold Hughes, Abbott Smith, Vassar College, William Rueger, Leon Botstein, U.S. Signal Corps, The New York Times, World War II, Bert M. P. Lafmans '41, Clifford Burgess '37, William H. Jordy '39, John C. Honey '39, Ann Unz, Sis Saulpaugh, Virginia Hunt, Peggy Farrell, Mary Faber, Olga Rothemund, Marge Malkin, Shirley Glover, Margie Ficke

Location

Bard College

Interview Date

5-27-2000

Interview Duration

38:51

Rights Management

The use of any image or audio from the Bard College Archives without permission is prohibited.

bc_koch_prom_002_res150.jpg (3271 kB)
Prom registers and matchbooks

bc_alum.honey.koch.etal.a.tif (86289 kB)
St. Stephen's Alumni Association Reunion, held on athletic field, near former Kappa House. From left to right: Bert M. P. Lafmans '41; Clifford Burgess '37; William H. Jordy '39; woman and man unknown; John C. Honey '39; Richard F. Koch '40; woman unknown.

Deciding to transfer to Bard.mp3 (3727 kB)
Deciding to transfer to Bard from Columbia University

Class sizes and being Jewish at Bard.mp3 (5259 kB)
Class sizes and being Jewish at Bard

Social life at Bard.mp3 (6728 kB)
The social scene at Bard

Richard F. Koch, '40 (BardCorps)

Share

COinS