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The Bard Sanctuary Fund



At a time of great uncertainty for undocumented students and refugees, the Bard Sanctuary Fund is designed to ensure that Bard College and the Bard network of campuses provide support for affected students. 


What the fund does

The Bard Sanctuary Fund supports undocumented students and refugees by providing scholarship, living, legal and other necessary support while students are enrolled at Bard College. The fund will provide scholarships through the Early College Opportunity Program (ECO) and Bard Educational Opportunity Program (BEOP), as well as support for student-led initiatives and other institutional efforts designed to ensure that undocumented immigrants and refugees throughout the Bard network can continue to study and find sanctuary at Bard.

Bard’s History as a Refuge

Bard has a long history as a sanctuary and refuge for vulnerable populations. Beginning in the mid-1930s and throughout the war years, Bard College gave refuge to distinguished writers, artists, intellectuals, and scientists fleeing Nazi Europe. In 1956, it became a haven for and offered English language instruction to 325 Hungarian student refugees following their participation in that country’s revolt against the Stalinist government. Since the 1980s, Bard has brought scholars at risk from Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East to teach and do research in Annandale-on-Hudson. Bard College Berlin’s Program in International Education for Social Change is actively reaching out to and enrolling refugees and other young people impacted by the ongoing crises in Syria and Greece, among other places. In his introduction to a 1982 volume on the history of the College, President Leon Botstein tied together the institution’s missionary, progressive, and intellectual traditions, stating, “All are expressions of the one continuing conviction that by education, by leadership, and by means of institutions formed for the purpose, it is possible mightily to improve the quality of life—and to build a better society.” It is these sentiments that have shaped Bard College’s role as “a private institution in the public interest” and placed civic engagement at the core of Bard’s mission. In 2016, Bard continues to innovate, take risks, and broaden its global outlook in pursuit of this mission and in support of the students, faculty, and staff that make up the greater College community.