Audrey Heumann Regen '56 (BardCorps)
Barbara Crane Wigren '68
Audrey Heumann Regen returned to Bard in 2001 for her 45th reunion. Regan was a high achieving high-school student with a nagging case of test anxiety who came to Bard for its unorthodox philosophy and strong arts curriculum. She remembers Buzz Gummere admitting her because of her wide range of interests. Her senior project advisor was Dorothy Dulles Bourne, and her project focused on the educational theories of John Dewey.
She recalls a tradition where Eleanor Roosevelt would come to Bard every Christmas season to read Dickens' A Christmas Carol to the students. One year, a fellow student, a polio survivor, wanted to honor Mrs. Roosevelt by opening the door for her. Audrey remembers this as a poignant moment, watching Mrs. Roosevelt give him time because she knew the effort this took.
Regen remembers Bard as a much smaller place, with 250 students and only a few established buildings. She describes the quality as ‘homey’ or ‘hamish’ with students congregating at the little coffee shop in Stone Row. "It was a very wholesome and healthy isolation, that you could concentrate without a great many distractions, on your studies." At the same time, she describes Bard's reputation during her day as "a wild place," with strange clothing, wild behaviors, and a great deal of sexual experimentation.
Campus jobs for Audrey included delivering the mail to faculty, and in one instance, tutoring a professor’s child in reading, Erica DeGre (now Rikki Ducornet).
Regen also remembers attending a synagogue in Poughkeepsie for Jewish holidays. Students later decided to hold ceremonies for Jewish High Holy Days on campus.
She continues to show support for the college saying: “Bard took a chance on me, and I would always be here for Bard.”
Audrey H. Regen passed away on May 30, 2017.
Bard College; Great Neck High School; Buzz Gummere; Stone Row; Hudson River; Eleanor Roosevelt; Charles Dickens; A Christmas Carol; Forest Hills, Queens, New York; Hoffman Library; Blithewood; Adolph’s; Yale University; Princeton University; Erica Degre (Rikki Ducornet) ; Dr. Werner Wolff; Dr. Joseph Mayer; Rutgers University; South Hall; Sarasota, Florida; New College of Florida; Olin Hall; Dorothy Dulles Bourne; Bank Street College; John Dewey; Dr. William Frauenfelder; Tivoli, New York; Anthony Hecht; Ringling College of Art + Design; Florida Studio Theatre; Great Neck, Long Island, New York; Poughkeepsie, New York; High Holy Days; Mort Bloch ‘47
Regen, Audrey Heumann, "Audrey Heumann Regen '56 (BardCorps)" (2021). All Oral Histories. 76.
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