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2014 Commencement at Woodbourne Correctional Facility

Attendance is by invitation only for BPI's 11th Commencement. 
Below are event details for guests.

If you have any questions, please contact Laura Liebman at 845-758-7332 or lliebman@bard.edu

Protocol for Entering the Prison

Before entering Woodbourne all guests will pass through a security checkpoint similar to that at any airport - you must present a valid photo ID.  All electronic devices, including cell phones and cameras, are strictly prohibited. Please minimize what you bring inside - handbags, briefcases, and accessories should be left in the car. Dress is business casual. The commencement ceremony will take place outdoors and will be approximately an hour and a half. Lunch will follow the ceremony. The event ends at approximately 2:30 p.m.

Driving Directions

For guests driving to the Woodbourne Correctional Facility, directions are provided below. Street Address: 99 Prison Road, Woodbourne, NY 12788

Directions from NYC to Woodbourne:
1.    Take I-95 S/US-1 S toward G W Bridge/Upper Level
2.    Take Exit 74 and merge onto Palisades Parkway North
3.    Merge onto I-87 N/New York State Thruway N via Exit 9W toward Albany (Portions toll)
4.    Take the RT-17 exit, Exit 16, toward US-6/Harriman - merge onto NY-17 W (Portions toll)
5.    Take the US-209 exit, Exit 113, toward Wurtsboro/Ellenville
6.    Turn right onto US-209 (North) to Ellenville
7.    In Ellenville, turn right onto NY-52/Center St. - continue to follow NY-52
8.    Stay straight on 52 - at light, turn left onto Riverside Drive
9.    Woodbourne Correctional Facility is on your left - drive up the hill and park

Directions from Bard College to Woodbourne:
1.    Go south on River Road, and follow it to the right when you come to the triangle
2.    Turn right at the stoplight onto Route 9G/NY-9G
3.    Cross the Kingston/Rhinecliff Bridge
4.    Stay straight on US-209 S (30.2 miles)
5.    In Ellenville, turn right onto NY-52/Center St. - continue to follow NY-52
6.    Stay straight on 52 - at light, turn left onto Riverside Drive
7.    Woodbourne Correctional Facility is on your left - drive up the hill and park

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.

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.

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.