Welcome from Laszlo Bito, Bard-Hungary
Orientation Program Alumnus & Chairman of the
Organizing Committee of the Reunion
Dear friends, fellow alumni of the 1956-57 Bard winter field period language-orientation
program, and all others interested in the events of ‘56 and its international and personal
I am writing to you as a Hungarian freedom fighter and refugee student who, after the
Bard College language and orientation course, received a scholarship and stayed on as a
pre-med science major, graduating with the class of '60. (The only other scholarship was
given to Peter Koves, but unfortunately he left school and presumably returned to
Hungary. If anybody knows anything about him, please contact us).
True, I have more to thank Bard for than most of you–to this day I don't know why I
received that scholarship among so many others who were equally needy and deserving.
But I hope that after 50 years many of you will return for a few days to Bard College in
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, for a reunion and conference that are being organized.
Several experts on the '56 "revolution" from both Hungary and the U.S. will be in
I would like to emphasize that it is not going to be one more "who shot whom and when”
type of event. Rather, we will look at the events of ’56 in a much wider perspective and
will deal with the aftermath of the revolution, among other aspects. The fate of the almost
200,000 Hungarian refugees is another subject that will be treated. We will take a look at
the various countries we went to, what those countries did for us, and what we did for
our adopted homes. We would like to assess the contributions that this unique group
made, without forgetting about expressing our thanks to those who helped get us started.
We may also invite some people who–arriving before or after us–had a much harder time.
We plan to reenact the torchlight procession of fifty years ago, as a thanksgiving not only
for what Bard did for us, but also for what we and our country have been able to achieve
since the turbulent events of that period.
We very much hope that Julius Nyikos (Nyikos Gyula, our chief translator and organizer)
and several of the American students–our counselors–will be able to come. We are also
trying to locate George Callahan, the big boss of the food service who learned all the
essential Hungarian words to communicate–at least with the girls!
If you know the whereabouts of any participant in that program, please contact one of the
undersigned. The conference and reunion schedule of events will be finalized soon.
Please let us know if you have any suggestions.
Bard is seeking to contact all alumni of the program. At the bottom of the page is a list
of Hungarian emigre students who came to Bard College in 1956-1957. If you are an
alumna/alumnus and you plan on coming to the reunion, please e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-845-758-7080. If you know the location and/or contact
information for any of these alumni, please notify us and we will do our best to contact
them. Our Organizing Committee is available to reach out and to help locate other
alumni and their families.
For those alumni/ae of the program and friends and family who desire to remain in touch with one another.
Messages to alumni and their families are posted here. If you would like to post a message on the bulletin board, please send it to email@example.com.
Accommodations near Bard College
Kingston, NY– 20 mi. from Bard College campus
Bard College will provide shuttle rides to and from the reunion and conference for those staying at the Courtyard by Marriott.
Courtyard by Marriott: 800-321-2211
500 Frank Sottile Blvd.
Kingston (20 min.)
This is a brand new Marriott hotel (opened in May 2006) in Kingston, New York just off Rt. 199 near the Rhinebeck Bridge.
Reservations: For a discounted rate of $120 per night, mention “Hungary 56 conference” for dates during the week of the conference.
If you are an alumna/alumnus of this program, please let us know about any difficulties you might have inattending this conference due to the cost of accommodations. We may be able to arrange accomodations for some people. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on accommodation assistance.
Please click here for names and contact information of:
Hungarian emigré students who came to Bard in 1956-1957