Charles Friou '46


Charles Friou '46


Charles Friou '46


Interviewee Role


Significant Quote

“Some of the courses had horrendous reading lists. I remember sitting in Albee one night, like 3 o’clock in the morning, trying to read a novel that had to be finished by the next morning. And Dean Gray walks in, and says, “Oh hi, I just wondered why the lights were on!” It was that kind of intimate, personal, environment that we were in.”


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Class Year


Academic Program


Other Program

Social Studies Major, Religion Major


Barbara Crane Wigren, '68; David Avallone, '68


Charles Friou was a social studies and religion major at Bard and his interview reveals him to be a person of deep social conscience. His years at Bard coincided with U.S. involvement in WWII, and the College found it could not survive without additional revenue. Thus, in 1943 the Army Specialized Training Program was created to instruct young soldiers in needed areas. Friou worked in the library and frequently helped GIs with research for projects. He recalls, “I probably learned more as a student librarian under Felix Hirsch than in any one single course.” The college also increased its numbers by admitting women in 1944--a welcome change. The full interview illustrates Charles’ response to these transitions, and includes as well a moving segment of Charles’ memories of the émigré faculty of the time. After graduating from Bard, Friou went on to Yale Divinity School and a career in social justice.


Bard College; Erasmus Hall High School; Brooklyn, New York; World War II; Columbia College; Charles Harold Gray; Ron Curry; Ludlow; George Gensler; Albee; United States Army; Felix Hirsch; Stone Row; Warden’s Hall; Harlem, New York; Sterling Brown; Vassar College; Irma Brandeis; Jin Harold Kinoshita ‘44; Taro Kawa ‘44; Thomas “Tom” Hayashi ‘43; Leon Botstein; Bard Hall; Frederick “Fritz” Shafer ‘37; Red Hook, New York; Tivoli, New York; Hunter College; New York City, New York; Barrytown, New York; Rhinecliff, New York; Alumni/ae Weekend; Werner Wolff; Lyford Paterson Edwards; Dwight Lyman Moody; Yale University; Washington, D.C.; March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom; Washington Monument; Lincoln Memorial; United States of America; Martin Luther King Jr.; Jesse Jackson; Hosea Williams; Andrew Young; Ralph Abernathy; The Bardian; Mary McCarthy; Clair Leonard; University of Illinois; Annys [Baxter] Wilson ‘48; William “Bill” Wilson ‘48; NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People); American University; Stefan Hirsch; Adolf Sturmthal; Germany; Poland; France; Berliner Tageblatt; Roland Bainton; Yale Divinity School; Elisabeth Hirsch; Europe; Portugal; Trenton University; Bard College Alumni/ae Association


Bard College

Interview Date


Interview Duration


Rights Management

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

Charles Friou '46