Al Varady '88 (BardCorps)

Al Varady '88 (BardCorps)


Al Varady '88


Interviewee Role


Significant Quote

“It’s like, once you see someone from Bard … you get it. I get it. You know... it’s that kind of bond, that I don’t think you get from other places, or in the same way, or as strong.”


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Class Year


Academic Program

Literature; Written Arts

Class Year



Marna MacGregor '14


Al Varady, originally from southern Connecticut, enrolled at Bard after dropping out of Wake Forest University in North Carolina. He recalls the “Grateful Dead” types and the conversation with Admissions Director Karen Wilcox that enticed him to come to Bard; living during freshman year in one of the rickety Ravine Houses; the time that one of the Ravine House porches collapsed; classes in the religion and literature departments; and the long-lasting bonds he made at Bard, particularly with Father Shafer ‘37, a religion professor. He describes his experiences coming back to Bard and visiting 25 years later, noting that “there’s probably someone very much like me, an updated version, and I’m the same version of somebody else from 20 years ago.” He also describes the bond between Bard students, both current and former, that distinguishes it from other universities.

At the time of the interview, Al was working on his second novel, with plans to write his next book about a brother and sister that he met at Bard.


The Bedbugs Bite; Bard; Connecticut; Greenwich High School; Wake Forest University; Hampshire College; Grateful Dead; Karen Wilcox; Ravine Houses; Oliver Stone; Irish; Blarney Stone; Socrates; Shakespeare; T. S. Eliot; Wallace Stevens; Elizabeth Stambler; Thomas “Tom” Smiley ‘89; L&T; San Francisco, CA; Tod Kershaw; North Carolina; Nathaniel Hawthorne; Joy Division; Father [Frederick Q.] Shafer ‘37; Minutemen; Seattle, WA; Kline Commons; We Jam Econo; Hopson; Seymour; Victoria, Canada; the Army; the Marines; Terence Dewsnap


BardCorps Trailer, Main Campus

Interview Date


Interview Duration


Al Varady '88 (BardCorps)