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BPI's 13th Commencement at Taconic Correctional Facility

Attendance is by invitation only for BPI Commencements. 
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 Taconic 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 and the ceremony will be outside. Guests are asked to arrive by 5:00 p.m. to allow time for security processing, and the ceremony will begin aound 6:00 p.m. Dinner will follow the ceremony. The event will end at approximately 8:30 p.m.

Driving Directions

If you are using your GPS, the address is 250 Harris Road, Bedford Hills, NY.


·  Take NY-9A N (Portions toll)
·  Stay straight to go onto Henry Hudson Parkway N
·  Merge onto Saw Mill River Parkway N via the exit on the left
·  Take EXIT 42 toward Katonah
·  Turn left onto Railroad Avenue
·  Turn right onto Harris Road
·  Taconic Correctional Facility is on the left


·  Start out going north on River Road/County Hwy-103 toward Annandale Road
·  Turn slight right onto River Road
·  River Road becomes Kelly Road
·  Turn right onto Route 9G/NY-9G
·  Take the 1st left onto W Market St/NY-199 - Continue to follow NY-199
·  Turn slight left onto ramp
·  Keep left at the fork in the ramp
·  Merge onto Taconic State Parkway
·  Merge onto I-84 E toward Danbury
·  Merge onto I-684 S via EXIT 20S toward White Plains/New York City
·  Take EXIT 5 toward Saw Mill Parkway/NY-117
·  Keep right to take the Saw Mill Parkway ramp
·  Take EXIT 43 toward NY-117
·  Keep right at the fork in the ramp
·  Merge onto Route 117 Bypass Road
·  Turn left onto Harris Road
· Taconic Correctional Facility is on the left

12th BPI Commencement

On January 24, 2015, the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) held its 12th commencement at Eastern NY Correctional Facility in Napanoche, NY.  Fifty one students received Bard degrees and Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, delivered the commencement address and received an honorary doctorate. Of those graduates completing bachelor's degrees, nearly half majored in math. Their Senior Projects range from the development of a new method for sifting prime numbers, to an application of game theory, to the health care market. This short film celebrates that ceremony, the generosity of Cardinal Dolan, and the accomplishments of those graduates.

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.