The Annual Meeting on May 17 offered attendees a delicious brunch, the chance to socialize with other LLI members, a discussion of LLI business, and a delightful program from the US-China Music Institute. There were questions and discussion about our budget, recognition of the many, many volunteers in attendance, and a call to renew our membership.
Coffee and brunch in the rotunda of Olin Hall began the morning. As members entered the auditorium, they enjoyed a slide show put together by Gary Miller, showing member activities and scenes around Bard. Gene Burns, in his role as Master of Ceremony, introduced president Tom Esposito.
Tom expressed his gratitude for the continued help of Jonathan Becker of CCE and Dean Stuart Levine, who is retiring. Then he introduced Deidre d’Albertis, who is Dean of the College and Professor of English. Ms. d’Albertis said she looks forward to partnering with the leadership of LLI to help our organization grow.
Election Results and Budget
Ollie Johnson confirmed the election results:
- Mary Deady, second vice president
- Deborah Lanser, secretary
- Emily Michael, member-at-large
- Maddy Watterson, member-at-large.
Treasurer Susan Hirsch reviewed the budget. Our projected 2019 – 2020 budget totals $53,287.00, largely based on membership fees. Susan noted that we have increased our contributions to various Bard programs to a total of $24,883.00 year-to-date, with another $2,800 expected to be paid in May and June.
Members asked for clarification about PayPal fees, which we incur so that members can pay by credit card or PayPal account, simplifying administration. Members also suggested that more should be given to Bard, or, on the other hand, their fees should be reduced. After discussion, the budget was approved by acclamation.
Salute the Volunteers
Tom Esposito stressed the importance of volunteers in running Bard LLI. The only service we pay for, he noted, was a layout editor. All of the other myriad tasks, large and small, are undertaken by LLI members. He asked everyone present who volunteered this year to stand. More than half the audience rose to their feet and all present applauded them.
The Annual Meeting also included many participating members volunteered their skills and time to make this event a success.
- Anne Sunners, chair of the Curricular and Special Events committee, who planned and organized the Annual Meeting
- Program Support Committee, chaired by Mary Deady, who coordinated many of the details such as check-in, the raffle, the invitations
- Irene Esposito and the Hospitality Committee who managed the food
- LLI President Tom Esposito and Treasurer Susan Hirsch who presented the business portion of the event
- Gene Burns, Special Programs chair, arranged and introduced the amazing musical program
- The other many participating members who helped with so many different tasks such as the invitation, check-in, food monitoring, crowd movement, backstage, slide show, AV, etc.
US-China Music Institute
Hsao Fang Lin, Director of Music Programming of the Institute, described the importance of music in reaching across cultures. Learning music in different places helps musicians improve their own musical ideas, she noted. Then she introduced the four student performers. Two introduced the audience to the erhu, a two-stringed bowed instrument, and two were on a guzheng, known as a Chinese zither.
LLI members commented that they appreciated the students’ demonstrating their instruments, which are unfamiliar to most Western audiences. With a better understanding of the instruments, they were better able to appreciate the music.
The meeting concluded with a raffle, giving 10 LLI members a ticket for a free meal at Kline Commons. Steven Lanser was even luckier, winning a one-year free membership. In appreciation, Steven, a singer and musician, is donating the equivalent of his membership fee to the Bard Music Program.
Mark your calendar: June 1 – 21 is the window for renewing LLI membership and for new members to apply for membership.
Note: since the Annual Meeting, the LLI Council met and raised the membership cap to 315. If you have friends who have wanted to join LLI, now is the time to let them know that membership is open.