Darius Thieme, '51 (BardCorps)


Darius Thieme, '51 (BardCorps)


Darius Thieme


Interviewee Role


Significant Quote

“Don’t be afraid to live with a blank page, and at the end of the day wind up with a blank page. That’s not bad. A blank page is just part of what you have to do... because you have to spend that time thinking about it.”


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Class Year


Other Program

Music Major


Erin Boyer, '00


Though not his first choice, Thieme decided to come to Bard because of its liberal arts education and the low student/teacher ratio. He remembers crashing his car into one of the trees on campus; playing a prank on then President Case with his friends by bringing the president’s car into the lobby of his office; and helping to build and wire WXBC, the Bard radio station with several others, including Peter Stone. He always wanted to be a radio announcer, and thought literature would be the appropriate major. At his moderation, however, he was told to pursue other options due to poor grades, and realized music composition and performance were his true calling. He majored mostly in organ, his main instrument. He also played the bass in a band (Skip Strong's Steamboat Six), performing live on the radio every week. He wrote a long term paper on Zuni Indians for Werner Wolff after writing to the Bureau of Indians Affairs for information. He received an A, though he didn’t believe Werner Wolff actually read it…it was very long, maybe 150 pages. Thieme believes the section on alternative healing may have appealed to Wolff. Lived in Kappa House. Remembers discussion among students to reinstate the fraternities, but this was not successful. Spent time with a blind student who desperately wanted to drive a car; Thieme let the student drive his car slowly in a safe place and gave directions from the passenger seat. Eventually the blind student decided to pursue other dreams. Loved taking the Core Curriculum course [First Year Seminar]. Remembers reading a book a week, beginning with Aristotle and Plato, and writing a paper about what he had read. Went to graduate school in Illinois for musicology and had a long career as a music professor, helping to create the core curriculum for the school at which he taught, Fisk College. At Bard, he worked in the bowling alley, the pool hall, and as a waiter. Served on a student committee which recommended dismissal of a senior who plagiarized his project.


"Mike's" Bar, Down the Road, Peter Stone, '51, Andrew 'Skip" Strong, '51, Harry Papastrat, '51, WXBC, Clair Leonard, Paul Murdoch, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Werner Wolff, Kate Wolff, Kappa House, Core Curriculum, Bowling Alley, Old Gym, Fisk College


Bard College

Interview Date


Interview Duration


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Darius Thieme, '51 (BardCorps)