Presidents of the College



Fabian Bachrach


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Reamer Kline was President of Bard College from 1960 until 1974. An Episcopal priest, his presidency was marked by civility, even during this most turbulent time in the America’s social history. In 1963, the College purchased the Ward Manor property, substantially increasing housing capacity, which in turn helped to increase enrollment. He increased faculty salaries, and supported the founding of the nursery school. He and his wife Louise opened their home to students and Bard families for memorable holiday parties, helping to build a College community. He hosted a Bard Family Reunion, bringing Bard descendants back to campus, and reminding the College of its roots. Relationships with alumni/ae and the Episcopal Church were likewise reaffirmed, and the academic program was strengthened through hiring which emphasized the arts. New programs were introduced—including the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), the Independent Studies Program (ISP), and the Community Regional Environmental Studies program (CRES)—and buildings were constructed, among these Proctor Art Center (now Fisher Studio Arts), new dormitories called Ravine Houses, two additions to the library, and the Kline Commons dining hall. President Kline supported students during the drug raids of the late sixties. His final gift to Bard was the completion of his deeply human institutional history, Education for the Common Good: a History of Bard College the First 100 Years, 1860–1960, without which the College would be much poorer indeed.



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