ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON – Bard College held its one hundred sixty-first commencement on Saturday, May 29, 2021. Bard President Leon Botstein conferred 398 undergraduate degrees on the Class of 2021 and 136graduate degrees, including master of fine arts; doctor and master of philosophy and master of arts in decorative arts, design history, and material culture; master of science and master of arts in economic theory and policy; master of business administration in sustainability; master of arts in teaching; master of arts in curatorial studies; master of science in environmental policy and in climate science and policy; master of music in vocal arts and in conducting; master of music in curatorial, critical, and performance studies; and master of education in environmental education. The program, which took place at 2:30 pm in the commencement tent on the Seth Goldfine Memorial Rugby Field, was in person for graduating students only, in accordance with New York State health and safety guidelines, and was livestreamed for family and friends. It was closed to the public.
The Commencement address was given by former Open Society Foundations president Patrick Gaspard, who received an honorary doctorate of humane letters. Honorary degrees were also awarded to dance therapy pioneer Miriam Roskin Berger ’56, economist William A. Darity Jr., climate scientist Michael E. Mann, actress Audra McDonald, physician Siddhartha Mukherjee, Reverend Vivian D. Nixon, and novelist Elif Shafak.
Other events taking place during Commencement Weekend include Bard College award ceremonies. The Bard Medal was presented to Charles S. Johnson III ’70; the John and Samuel Bard Award in Medicine and Science toBrianna Norton ’00; the Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters to Paul Chan MFA ’03; the John Dewey Award for Distinguished Public Service to Nsikan Akpan ’06; the Mary McCarthy Award to Claudia Rankine;and the Bardian Award to Peggy Florin, Medrie MacPhee, and Amie McEvoy.