For the next month, we will showcase a quartet of popular college campuses that are located here in the beautiful Berkshires and we start our focus this week with a unique educational facility where those who are 16 and 17 years old can begin their advanced education right here in our backyard.

Bard College at Simon's Rock is located on Alford Road in the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The campus is a unit of Bard College which is located in Northern Dutchess county at Annandale-On-Hudson, New York. In a recent poll, Smithsonian Magazine ranked the south county community of Great Barrington as the top small town nationwide. It's academic ranking is a whopping 92% higher than Ivy League Schools beating out a pair of prestigious schools including Harvard and Princeton Universities.

The 275 acre campus has a plethora of dorms as 90% of the 450 students who are currently enrolled live on campus as this unique school continues to receive national and world attention. Students come from across the globe from 15 countries that are located across The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Nationally, those who are educated are not only based locally as they arrive to the southern Berkshires from 37 out of the 50 United States  Bard's proximity also plays a key role: They are located approximately 2 and a half hours from New York City and Boston. It's emphasis is to teach students the fundamentals of arts, language, science and literature.

Some famous alumni that graduated include film directors Ethan and Joel Coen, Maria Giese, author Veronica Chambers, actresses Susan May Pratt and Sarah Rose Karr and if you can believe it, Woody Allen and Mia Farrow's son, Ronan received his sheep skin from the Berkshires. Actress Daisy Eagan and author Henry Alford also teach courses pertaining to their respective fields on a part time basis.

You can learn more about Bard College at Simon's Rock by logging on to their web site by going here. Next week, we'll salute Pittsfield's most populous campus. Stay with us!

(Some information on this article was obtained by WSBS courtesy of Bard College at Simon Rock's web site and Wikipedia)

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