Hudson Valley

In the Gilded Age of the 1890s, when the local opera company held a benefit, it might have included world-class singers and ice sculptures ringed with caviar. Tickets would have been steeply priced, and the bedizened guests would have lined up to spend lavishly on games of chance that helped the charity.

Bard College is a four-year liberal arts and sciences institution nestled on two historic riverfront estates in New York’s Hudson Valley. Founded in 1860, the college today experiences the common challenges faced by most higher-education institutions striving to expand programs and raise the bar of support from parents, alumni and its surrounding community.

Here, Debra Pemstein, vice president of development and alumni affairs, discusses Bard’s constituent base and how it keeps in touch with supporters.

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