Linda LeGendre: New Head of Curriculum

Introduction

One of the most tempting reasons for Linda Legendre to move from Massachusetts to the Red Hook area eight years ago, besides being closer to her five grandchildren and their parents, was the enticement of the excellent reputation of Bard’s Lifelong Learning program. Although it took her two years to be admitted via the lottery system, she has since assumed a wide array of Bard LLI responsibilities. She has now taken on, as of July 1st, what is considered by many the huge job of head of Curriculum for Bard LLI.

A Little Linda Background

Linda worked as a primary nurse practitioner in the same practice in Massachusetts for 35 years before retiring and moving to NY. She loved Bard LLI, she says, “from the second I joined! Being a part of Bard LLI has been a wonderful introduction to interesting new people and ideas.” She has thought to herself often, “Oh, great! It’s Friday!” (or, more recently, Thursday) in anticipation of classes, especially during the height of the pandemic. In addition to participating in classes, Linda has been an LLI class presenter, a class manager, producer, mentor, and member of various LLI committees.

Vision

Linda understands well the amount of work demanded of the head of Curriculum. She feels that becoming chair right after Anne Sunners, who once served as president of Bard LLI, is “fairly intimidating” but she is excited by the challenge. Linda was openly recruited. “Actually, they wouldn’t take no for an answer.” This is turning out to be a good thing as she is enjoying the job and feeling like an important part of something big. Although Linda doesn’t like the spotlight, she feels confident in her familiarity with many in the LLI community and their strengths. She has experience managing people and situations and adds that she is also solid on meeting deadlines. Her work on the DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) Task Force has helped her think about expanding choices in class offerings, prompting new ways of thinking about social justice and diversity. Some of the courses in the current fall semester already reflect this goal.

Anne Brueckner, Jane Diamond and Emily Michael

How Does the Curriculum Committee Work?

At present, Bard LLI class presenters are roughly divided equally into current and retired Bard professors, LLI members, and people from the outside community. All course presenters are thoroughly vetted, asked to submit course proposals that are significantly “fleshed out,” and then paired up with one of the experienced producers on the committee. Linda says, “We do our best to take care of presenters because, let’s face it, they all share their passion and generosity to teach us!” 

Come to a Curriculum Meeting

A Curriculum meeting scheduled for Tuesday, November 9th, will be open to all, so visitors can learn how this team operates. If you want to attend, email BTuel@lli.bard.edu. If you have an idea for a course, contact Linda at llegendre@lli.bard.edu.

Onward

Linda, of course, doesn’t do all this by herself. Many experienced LLI folks offered support early in her need to quickly master the process, and she now knows she never has to solve anything on her own. She works with an enormously helpful and resourceful group of people on Curriculum. “This is an amazing team.” When expressing some apprehension about how she would approach this big job, one helpful LLI veteran suggested, “Linda, you are just going to do this job in your own way, in your own style.” 

Linda has a great deal of admiration for the members of the Curriculum Team, as she continues to work, side by side, with the many dedicated people who pour endless energy into keeping Bard LLI exciting, vibrant, relevant, and accessible.


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