Susan Christoffersen: Webmaster of Bard LLI


When my friend Tom first told me about Bard’s Lifetime Learning Institute, I went on the website at, and I was immediately impressed with the layout, photos, and writing. I thought, “these are my people, and this is an organization that I want to be a part of.” On my very first day on the Bard campus, during the LLI orientation, I was introduced to Susan Christoffersen. Little did I know that day how closely we would work together and how vital Susan’s contributions are to the functioning of our LLI.

A Background in Accounting -- Not Website Design

Coming from a military family, Susan has lived all over the United States and traveled extensively throughout Europe. In her early years in New York City and later, when her children were young, she ran her own “roving bookkeeper” business. In 1974 she joined Lehman Brothers on Wall Street, rising to Vice President during her tenure there. While working at Lehman, Susan completed her MBA in finance and accounting at New York University. She moved to Dutchess County in 1984, when her first child was born, and worked in fund accounting for towns and school districts, culminating in 22 years as Director of Fiscal Operations for the Arlington Central School District, overseeing a budget in excess of $200 million.

In 1997, Susan got interested in HTML. Ziff Davis ran an online training program called ZDU in the early days, and Susan joined their online classes, learning HTML, computer graphics, CGI, and Javascript. She had a lot of fun doing it and made a lot of friends at the same time. At one point, Susan created a family history website with stories of her great-grandparents and other family members. When her kids needed braces, and she needed an extra job, she became the Arlington CSD webmaster, building the ACSD website and maintaining it for many years as it grew to almost 1,000 pages

An Active Volunteer

Susan is an avid opera aficionado, and while attending a Met in HD live broadcast in Hudson, NY, overheard folks next to her in line who were from Rhinebeck; they started talking and later began carpooling. Her friends kept talking about the great classes at Bard LLI, and Susan decided she would join when she retired. Her daughter’s best friend’s father, another opera lover, was an early Bard LLI presenter so that friendship further fanned the LLI flames. Before Susan was able to join Bard LLI, she went to the SUNY New Paltz LLI just to take the great opera classes that Chuck Mishaan taught there.

After retiring in 2018, Susan joined Bard LLI, and volunteered to work on the LLI website, doing the course catalogs and later building the registration catalogs when LLI began using ProClass. Susan is also an avid (4th generation!) reader of detective and mystery novels and is a member of the Starr Library Mysteries Around the World book group, for which she built and maintains a website ( She is also treasurer of the Rhinebeck Reformed Church. Susan likes to volunteer to use her skills and wants to keep them strong.

When COVID started, and we had to cancel the Spring 2020 semester, Susan stepped up to the plate and agreed to co-manage the newly created Online Team with me. She proved adept at learning new things, had great ideas, and updated the website in real-time with tips and tricks for using Zoom. As I got to know her better, I realized that Susan also has a great sense of humor.

Our Webmaster Could Use Some Help!

If you have a background in website design, aren’t afraid of technology and/or have good technical skills, and want to learn or assist, Susan will be happy to teach you some simple things that would help our organization tremendously—as the saying goes, “many hands make light work.” You can reach out to Susan at [email protected] if you would like to learn more about assisting with the website or ProClass, where we REALLY need more fearless hands!