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11th BPI Commencement

<br /><br />11th BPI Commencement
The Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) held its 11th commencement at the Woodbourne Correctional Facility in Woodbourne, New York, on Saturday, May 31. BPI awarded associate in arts degrees to 36 students. The commencement speaker was Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, D–New York, who was honored with Bard College’s John Dewey Award for Distinguished Public Service. Additional remarks were provided by Bishop Andrew M. L. Dietsche, the 16th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, and Bard College President Leon Botstein.

The video below captured the spirit of the day:

BPI Graduates Receive B.A. Degrees at
Bard College's 153rd Commencement

<br />BPI Graduates Receive B.A. Degrees at <br />Bard College
Bard alumni remember what a challenge it is to complete a Senior Project -- an original research paper typically 80 pages in length. Over the past year, two BPI students completed their Projects after their release from prison -- amidst finding housing, work, and reuniting with their families.

On May 24, 2013, they received their BA degrees at Bard's on-campus graduation, alongside 500 other Bardians. They were each warmly welcomed by President Leon Botstein, Commencement Speakers Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly, and the entire graduating class. Brian Fischer, who recently retired as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, received an honorary doctorate of laws.

2013 BPI Commencement Celebrations

2013 BPI Commencement Celebrations
On January 26, 2013, the Bard Prison Initiative held its tenth and largest-ever commencement ceremony at Eastern New York Correctional Facility. Sixty incarcerated students received associate or bachelor's degrees. The Reverend Calvin Butts delivered the address and President Leon Botstein presided. Senior Projects by the bachelor degree graduates included investigations of topics ranging from "Exploring Fractal Dimension Calculations for Chaotic Systems" to "Ludwig Erhard and the Limits of Economic Liberalism in West Germany from 1948 to 1963." Associate degree graduates included women and men who began their studies with Bard in prisons all across New York State.  

Below is a video postcard from that morning at Eastern:


Celebrating BPI's Alumnae

<br />Celebrating BPI
On Sunday, June 16th, 2013, BPI hosted a celebratory lunch for four women who graduated in absentia this past January following the evacuation and subsequent closing of Bayview Correctional Facility in Chelsea.  Danielle D'Ambrosi, Jaylene Hill, Catherine Menendez and Tiffany Pelaez received their AA degrees and were joined by family, friends, and BPI faculty and staff for a joyful gathering.