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2015 Commencement at Eastern NY Correctional Facility

Attendance is by invitation only for BPI's 12th 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 Eastern 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. Guests are asked to arrive by 10:00 am to allow time for security processing, and the ceremony will begin aound 11:00 am. Lunch will follow the ceremony. The event ends at approximately 3:00 p.m.

Driving Directions

For guests driving to Eastern, directions are provided below. Street Address: 30 Institution Road, Napanoch, NY.

Directions from NYC to Eastern:

Take I-95 S/US-1 S toward G W BRIDGE/UPPER LEVEL
Merge onto I-87 N/NEW YORK STATE THRUWAY N via EXIT 9W toward ALBANY (Portions toll).
Take the RT-17 exit, EXIT 16, toward US-6/HARRIMAN. Merge onto NY-17 W (Portions toll).
Take the US-209 exit, EXIT 113, toward WURTSBORO/ELLENVILLE.
Turn RIGHT onto US-209 (North) to Ellenville
In Ellenville, stay North on Route 209 to Napanoch. At Light, turn Right onto Institution Road.
Eastern NY Correctional Facility is straight ahead.  

Directions from Bard to Eastern:

Head south on Annandale Road. Make a right at light (Route 199) to Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge.
Over bridge, stay on Route 199...the road changes to 209. Stay on Route 209 South. Stay on 209, through the towns of Marbletown, Stone Ridge, and Kerhonkson. 
In Napanoch, turn left at light onto Institution Road. Eastern NY Correctional Facility is straight ahead. Park on either end of main entrance.
Remember, if you’ve hit Ellenville, you’ve gone too far.

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.