Please click on any of the organizations listed below to see how they have supported the work of The Hudson River Valley Institute.
In 2008, the Hudson River Valley Institute received a major matching grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) that would change the course of the Institute moving forward. Included therein was also a great challenge to raise $1.5 million, which would then be matched by $500,000 from the NEH for the purpose of building HRVI’s endowment. Over several subsequent years, the Institute raised the necessary funds, resulting in a total fundraising campaign of over $2 million. As a result of this initiative, HRVI has been able to fund its Program Director and The Hudson River Valley Review, an occasional conference, and the development of resources and learning opportunities for K-12 teachers. It is with great pride that we are able to say, “The Hudson River Valley Institute is supported by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.”
In 2013, thanks to a major gift from Dr. Frank T. Bumpus, a long-standing member of the Hudson River Valley Institute’s Advisory Board, Marist College was able to elevate the Dr. Frank T. Bumpus Professorship in Hudson River Valley History to the status of an endowed chair.
Held by HRVI Executive Director and Marist faculty member Dr. James M. Johnson, this endowed academic post in the School of Liberal Arts advances study and scholarship related to the Hudson River Valley's rich history and culture. In addition to teaching undergraduate courses, the Bumpus Chair delivers public lectures under HRVI’s auspices and directs and produces scholarship on topics about the Hudson River Valley for dissemination through HRVI's Digital Library, The Hudson River Valley Review, and published articles.
At the time of its creation, Marist College President Dennis J. Murray reflected on the significance of the Bumpus Chair, “We are very grateful that Frank Bumpus -- true to his family’s laudable tradition of supporting education -- has made Marist a focus of his commitment to preserve and promote the rich history of the Hudson River Valley. This academic chair, and the excellent teaching, scholarship, and public dialogue it creates, will widen knowledge and understanding throughout the country and the world about our historically significant region of America.”
One of the major projects resulting from Dr. Johnson’s work as Bumpus Chair was the publication of Key to the Northern Country: The American Revolution in the Hudson River Valley. Comprising twenty-one essays that appeared in The Hudson Valley Regional Review and The Hudson River Valley Review, Key to the Northern Country illustrates the richly textured history of this supremely important time and place, with the Bumpus Chair authoring three of the chapters.
For seven consecutive summers starting in 2003, HRVI hosted summer seminars for secondary education social studies teachers, thanks to two major grants from the U.S. Department of Education’s “Teaching American History” program. The two grants, awarded in 2002 and 2005 and totaling over $1.8 million, were submitted in partnership with Dutchess, and Orange-Ulster BOCES, and relied on Marist College faculty members in the School of Liberal Arts to provide the instruction. The theme for the first three years was, “Freedom and Dignity: The Exploration of American Democracy” and week-long institutes were offered on the following topics:
• The American Revolution: The Creation of American Democracy
• The Underground Railroad: The Extension of American Democracy
• Franklin D. Roosevelt, the New Deal and World War II: The Defense of American Democracy
• Eleanor Roosevelt, Post-War America and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Democracy for All.
The theme for the second series of summer institutes was, “America's Promise: 400 Years of Defining the American Dream.” Once again taught by faculty in the School of Liberal Arts, week-long institutes were offered in the following topics:
• Henry Hudson and the New World: The Meeting of Many Cultures
• Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and the Birth of Modern America
• Presidential Leadership during Wartime: FDR, Lincoln, and Lyndon Johnson
• Coming to America: 400 Years of the Immigrant Experience
Follow-up activities for teachers who attended included workshops throughout the school year, teacher mentoring, and technology-enhanced networking of teachers and historians. Lesson plans created by the participants in the Teaching American History summer institutes are housed on HRVI’s Digital Library.
The Handel-Krom Lecture in Hudson River Valley History is an endowed lecture series that was established through the generosity of community leaders, Shirley and Bernard Handel and Lieutenant Colonel Gilbert A. Krom, US Army, Retired, to promote knowledge and appreciation for the rich history of this unique and important region of America. Since 2012, HRVI has held a Handel-Krom Lecture each autumn, highlighting a variety of topics related to the Hudson River Valley, with specific emphasis placed on the role of the Dutch in the region.
Past Handel-Krom speakers have included: David Schuyler, Jaap Jacobs, Russell Shorto, Harold Holzer, James Merrill, James Kirby Martin, Susanah Shaw Romney, H. Daniel Peck, Jennifer Lemak & Ashley Hopkins-Benton, James Lancel McElhinney, and Philip Dray.
Thanks to a major gift, the Charlotte Cunneen-Hackett Lecture Series was endowed in 2001 to advance appreciation of the rich heritage of the Hudson River Valley and to promote the history of the region. Through a wide variety of topics covering nearly every major field of Hudson River Valley History, this lecture series has consistently allowed HRVI to offer quality public programming since the Institute first began. This lecture has enabled HRVI to secure keynote speakers for larger events it has hosted at Marist College, including the Conference on New York State History, and “1969: When Woodstock Changed the World.”
Past Cunneen-Hackett speakers have included: Richard Brookheiser, Edward Countryman, Joseph Tiedemann, Robert Selig, Jessica DuLong, Lance Betros, Scott Wheeler, James Kirby Martin, Myra Armstead, David Schuyler, and Douglas Brinkley.
Thanks to the support of founding HRVI Advisory Board member and immediate past Board Chair Peter Bienstock and his family, The Institute is able to distinguish a Marist student each year as the Bienstock Family Intern. Consisting of both research and operational components, the Bienstock Family Intern works closely with both the Program Director and the Operations Director. When appropriate, the recipient also receives publication in The Hudson River Valley Review or on the McManus Digital Library for completed research work. Among recent Bienstock Family Interns was Spencer Hogan, Marist class of 2020, who also served as a White House Intern and was the recipient of the 2020 Alumni Leadership Award at Marist College.
This internship was made possible by gift from Dr. Frank T. Bumpus. The Bumpus Internship is awarded to a Marist student working with the Hudson River Valley Institute. The Bumpus Intern works closely with HRVI’s Operations Director in the planning of events and with the distribution of The Hudson River Valley Review, as well as developing experience to succeed professionally upon graduation.
As founding supporters of the Hudson River Valley Institute, Todd and Beverly Brinckerhoff made a lasting contribution to the preservation and promotion of history and culture in the Hudson River Valley. From the unveiling of the Institute at their historic home in November 2001, Todd’s and Beverly’s passion for family, county, and regional history was unparalleled. Todd was a founding member of HRVI’s Advisory Board and served as its first Chair. The dedication of HRVI’s conference room as the H. Todd and Beverly Brinckerhoff Conference Room in 2013 forever united the legacy of the Brinckerhoff family as community leaders with their dedication to regional history and to the Hudson River Valley Institute. As part of the dedication ceremony, Hudson River Valley artist and Brinckerhoff family friend Don Nice donated his painting, Hudson, to serve as the centerpiece of the space, where it remains on permanent display. Also adorning the walls are four of David Wagner’s paintings in the Dr. Frank Bumpus Collection, “The French expedition particulière: Marching to and from Yorktown, Virginia, 1781-82,” to commemorate the march of Generals Washington and Rochambeau on what is known today as the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route and maps and prints of local significance. It also houses the HRVI Regional History Library comprising contributions from a significant number of supporters.
Established in 2015 thanks to a gift from HRVI Advisory Board Vice Chair Barnabas McHenry, the title of McHenry Scholar is Residence is awarded to elite scholars doing original research on topics related to the Hudson River Valley, while also maintaining an affiliation with the Hudson River Valley Institute. As long-time co-chair of both the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area and Hudson River Valley Greenway, Mr. McHenry has dedicated a great amount of time, effort, and resources to the promotion and preservation of historic sites, environmental resources, and archival materials. Previous Scholars in Residence include Dr. Douglas Brinkley of Rice University and Dr. David Schuyler of Franklin & Marshall University.
The Hudson River Valley Institute’s Digital Library is an ongoing effort to collect, digitize, and share rare, out-of-print, and hard to find articles, essays, books, and bibliographies dealing with our region. This pillar of HRVI’s programmatic model would not be possible without sustained support from the DJ McManus Foundation. The materials on the McManus Digital Library are the work of the Institute’s interns, who have scanned, proofread, aggregated, and authored much of the content that has been provided to visitors of the Digital Library over the past two decades.
Thomas W. Casey joined the Marist College faculty as a member of the philosophy Department in 1963 and enjoyed a long and distinguished career. Tom served as President of the New York State American Studies Association, chaired two national conferences held at Eleanor Roosevelt's home at Val-Kill that had major impacts on higher education, and initiated the American Studies Program at Marist serving as its director from 1968-85.
One of Tom's greatest passions was the Hudson River Valley, and he often wrote for local and regional publications about the history and culture of the region. Tom introduced the first course in Hudson River Valley history at Marist and, during the 1990s, developed a proposal for a study center devoted to the history and culture of the region. In his honor, Tom’s wife Irma, along with his children Karen and Robert, established an endowed fund to support research on the Hudson River Valley.
The Thomas W. Casey Award for Hudson River Valley Studies is presented by the Hudson River Valley Institute for scholarly research projects related to the Hudson River Valley.
Commissioned in honor of the creation of the Hudson River Valley Institute, the predella Hudson, by renowned Hudson River Valley painter Don Nice, celebrates the founding of the Institute at Marist College. Mr. Nice’s predella comprises five objects that epitomize the Hudson River Valley: a bald eagle, apples, COL Johnson’s West Point cadet “tarbucket,” dogwood blossoms, and the striped bass.
In 2003, Don Nice described his inspiration behind the predella concept and why it works for the Hudson River Valley: “The word predella derives from the Renaissance idea of a series of panels around a saint or Madonna painting. The intention was to further describe the object and events related to the main subject matter in the work. My predellas are an extension of the still life concept in art: Single objects grouped together to become a subject, here the Hudson River.” In 2013, Mr. Nice donated the original predella painting to HRVI during the dedication of the H. Todd and
Beverly Brinckerhoff Conference Room. It remains on permanent display there as the centerpiece of that room dedicated to the region’s rich history. In 2003, inaugural HRVI Advisory Board Chair Brinckerhoff sponsored a poster-sized print of Nice’s “Hudson” with “Hudson River Valley Institute” as the title to promote HRVI.
Scotland, Connecticut, artist David R. Wagner created the painting series, “The French expedition particulière: Marching to and from Yorktown, Virginia, 1781-82,” to commemorate the march of Generals Washington and Rochambeau on what is known today as the National Park Service’s Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route. In total, Mr. Wagner painted over 100 different scenes, eighteen of which encompass five states and now comprise the Dr. Frank T. Bumpus Collection, thanks to a generous gift from Dr. Bumpus. They are on permanent display at the Hudson River Valley Institute. Several of the digital images were used by the National Park Service to produce images for wayside exhibits along the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail.
In 2013, the Hudson River Valley Institute received a grant from the Malcolm Gordon Charitable Fund of the Open Space Institute to establish “Return to the River Productions.” In conjunction with the Marist College Media Center, HRVI has worked to produce modern updates to classic segments that appeared as part of the “On the River” television program. Newly produced segments cover a variety of topics from ecology, to industry, to recreation, all taking place on or around the Hudson River. Today the original “On the River,” which aired locally from 1986 to 1993, has been digitized and can be accessed at the Marist College Archives.
In 2010, the Verizon Foundation awarded HRVI a grant to conduct a feasibility study to determine proof of concept for “virtual fieldtrips” that would have added an online component to a number of historic sites in the Hudson River Valley. This Verizon award came at the conclusion of a Marist College grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop a Digital Pathfinder walking tour on a personal data assistant (PDA) for Staatsburgh State Historic Site. The study was conducted with a group of partner sites comprising Staatsburgh, Olana, Clermont, Locust Grove, and Springside. Through interaction with each individual site, the project concluded that while virtual fieldtrips as proposed would provide a short-term benefit to several of the sites, the commitment to the necessary technology upgrades would have made the completion of the project economically unfeasible. As an alternative to virtual field trips, HRVI worked with each site to expand and enhance “guidebook” pages on HRVI’s Digital Library, www.hudsonrivervalley.org.
The Hudson River Valley Review has had a variety of underwriters throughout its existence. The Institute is grateful to the following underwriters for their support:
• The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area
• The National Endowment for the Humanities
• Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation
• Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel and Conference Center
• Shawangunk Valley Conservancy
• Furthermore: A Program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund
• American Heritage Rivers
• Brinckerhoff and Neuville, Inc.
• William Gottlieb Real Estate
Hudson River Valley Institute Launch and Initial Programmatic Support, Inaugural Cunneen-Hackett Lecture in Hudson River Valley History, and Roll-out of the HRVI Website and Digital Library
The formal dedication of the Hudson River Valley Institute took place on June 12, 2002 and featured a lecture by Richard Brookhiser, Senior Editor at National Review, entitled “Rediscovering George Washington.” The event was underwritten by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, which joined a collective of organizations that provided the initial funding for HRVI including the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation, the Shawangunk Valley Conservancy, the Charlotte Cunneen-Hackett Charitable Trust, the Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency, the M & T Bank Charitable Foundation, the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, and the McCann Foundation.
The Hudson River Valley Institute maintains a sizable collection of non-circulating books dedicated to the region from a wide variety of perspectives. While the library has been built as a result of contributions from a significant number of supporters, several individuals have donated a large number of titles, which exist as their own collections: Thomas and Irma Casey, Lincoln Diamant, the Reese Family, Richard C. Wiles and Family, Barnabas McHenry, Frank J. Doherty, and James and Lois Johnson.
A gift of HRVI Advisory Board Chair Alex Reese and family, the Reese Family Papers are housed at the Marist Archives and Special Collections in the Cannavino Library of Marist College. The website for the Marist Archives describes the collection: “The Reese Family Papers document the professional and personal lives of several of the ancestors of Frances Gallatin Stevens Reese and her husband, Willis Livingston Mesier Reese. The papers contain indentures, personal, political, and business correspondence, military documents, manuscripts of prose and poetry, scrapbooks, bills of lading, invoices, promissory notes, canceled checks, financial ledgers, diaries, passports, newspaper clippings, and photographs dating from 1692 to 2003.”
Since 1996 the Hudson River Valley Greenway has managed the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area (HRVNHA). The HRVNHA was designated by Congress and is one of the now fifty-five federally-recognized National Heritage Areas throughout the United States. Through a partnership with the National Park Service, HRVNHA collaborates with residents, government agencies, non-profit groups and private partners to interpret, preserve and celebrate the nationally significant cultural and natural resources of the Hudson River Valley. In this way, it encourages public stewardship for these resources as well as economic activity at the local and regional level. Since its founding the HRVI has served as the academic arm of the HRVNHA, which provided critical funding to support its Military Historian, The Hudson River Valley Review, and HRVI’s web site and digital library.
Since 2003, HRVI has partnered with Teaching the Hudson Valley (THV) to help educators discover, appreciate, and share the Hudson River Valley’s multifaceted history with students in schools, historic sites, museums and libraries. HRVI has contributed by hosting events, developing THV’s initial website, and serving as a major partner in both workshops and multi-day summer institutes annually. THV has, in turn, served as a liaison to both the National Park Service and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for HRVI.
As a premier environmental preservation organization in the greater Hudson River Valley, Open Space Institute (OSI) has been a longstanding partner with and supporter of HRVI’s environmental initiatives, providing two major gifts for environmental studies. Through a grant from the Malcolm Gordon Foundation, OSI has also supported the creation of “Return to the River” productions, an update of the original “On the River” program which is now housed in the Marist College Archives and Special Collections, also thanks to a gift from OSI.
Thanks to a grant from the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission, HRVI hosted New York State’s conference of record for the Quadricentennial year of 2009, which focused on Henry Hudson, Samuel De Champlain, and Robert Fulton. On September 25 and 26 of that year, the Institute hosted “New York’s 400 Years Celebrating America’s First River, the Hudson.” Keynote speakers, panel sessions and receptions discussed four-hundred years of Hudson River Valley history from a variety of historical perspectives, and the entire conference was streamed live over the Internet.
On September 27, a performance written by Joseph Bruchac, was put on by HRVI, Pace University, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. “The River of Tides: A Play about Henry Hudson’s Journey on the River That Came to Bear His Name,” was staged in Marist’s Nelly Goletti Theater.
The Hudson River Valley Review for the spring 2009 commemorated the accomplishments and legacies of all three honorees—Henry Hudson, Robert Fulton, and Samuel de Champlain—as well as the lasting contributions of the commission that planned events surrounding the 1909 Hudson-Fulton Tercentenary.
To honor the Quadricentennial, the staff of HRVI published its first book, America’s First River: The History and Culture of the Hudson River Valley, a collection of the best eighteen essays from the Review’s first twenty-five years of publication. From natives and newcomers to twentieth century leaders, these essays examine the many facets of the Hudson’s rich history, distinctive regional culture, and important contributions to the development of modern America.
Awarded by the Open Space Institute, the McHenry Awards honor the conservationism and philanthropy of longtime HRVI Advisory Board member and Vice-Chair Barnabas McHenry through grants to young leaders completing work related to the Hudson River Valley.
Since its inception, HRVI has supported a number of candidates, three of whom have received McHenry Awards for Hudson River Valley Projects:
Michael Diaz, Marist College Class of 2007, author of “Can you on such principles think of quitting a Country?” Family, Faith, Law, Property, and the Loyalists of the Hudson Valley During the American Revolution which appeared in Volume 28, Number 1 (Autumn 2011) of The Hudson River Valley Review
Jessica Friedlander, Marist College Class of 2007, who produced visual and written works that illustrate the history of the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge, which has now been converted into the Walkway Over the Hudson.
Christina Ritter, Marist College Class of 2014, who created the Dutchess County social studies tool kit for educators. The project was presented as a session of the Teaching the Hudson Valley summer conference in 2013.
New York State celebrated the 225th Anniversary of the American Revolution from 2000 through 2009. The Hudson River Valley Institute focused on a significant historical event relating to the Revolutionary War in the Hudson Valley 225 years ago for each year through 2008 as a part of our Patriots’ Weekends. Re-enactments, public-oriented historical lectures by nationally known historians, and ceremonies honoring those who fought for America's independence were the Weekend's key features.
Patriot’s Weekend 2002: October 3rd to the 6th celebrated New York State in the American Revolution, the bicentennial of the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1802, and the 225th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Montgomery on October 6th, 1777.
Patriots' Weekend 2003: September 19th through the 21st celebrated the 225th Anniversary of General George Washington’s encampment of Fredricksburgh in 1778 near present day Pawling, Patterson, Putnam, and Southeast, New York. The weekend kicked-off with a lecture at Marist College before moving to General George Washington's encampment at Fredricksburgh in 1778, between present-day Pawling and Patterson, New York. Events took place at the encampment as well as the John Kane House and the Quaker Meeting House.
Patriots' Weekend 2004: July of 2004 commemorated the 225th anniversary of two battles in 1779; Stony Point, on the Hudson River in Rockland County, and the Battle of Minisink, in Sullivan County, reenacted in Wawarsing in Ulster County. The weekend began with the Charlotte Cunneen-Hackett Lecture in Hudson River Valley History at Marist College and featured re-enactments at both of these battlegrounds.
Patriots' Weekend 2005: In September of 1780, Major John Andre was captured in Tarrytown with proof of General Benedict Arnold’s betrayal. Andre was hanged at Tappan in October of the same year, less than a week after Arnold successfully defected to the British lines. Programming began with the Charlotte Cunneen-Hackett Lecture in Hudson River Valley History at Marist College on September 29th. Lectures took place at West Point and the Tarrytown Music Hall on September 30th, and commemorative celebrations of these events took place in both Westchester and Rockland Counties on October 1st and 2nd.
Patriots' Weekend 2006: The weekend began with the Charlotte Cunneen-Hackett Lecture in Hudson River Valley History at Marist College, followed by events in Westchester and Rockland Counties to commemorate the march of the French Army under General Rochambeau to Philipsburgh, New York to join General Washington's Continental Army for the siege of New York City in July-August 1781. Both armies then marched south to win the Battle of Yorktown, Virginia.
Patriots' Weekend 2007: The first of three weekends commemorating events occurred in April with General and Mrs. Washington arriving in Newburgh. Reenactors who marched the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route from Rhode Island to Virginia crossed the Hudson at Stony and Verplank Points on their way back in September, and the Continental Army established what would be its final encampment in New Windsor at the end of October.
Patriots' Weekend 2008: There were three weekends of events in 2008, beginning with “Cease Fire – The War Ends, 1783” at the New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site in New Windsor, NY, followed by events on the river and in Tappan and Constitution Island in Cold Spring.
In 1997, President Bill Clinton designated the Hudson River as one of America’s fourteen American Heritage Rivers as part of his American Heritage Rivers Initiative (AHRI). With the support of then New York Governor George E. Pataki, as well as a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Hudson River Navigator joined the team of HRVI in 2003 to focus exclusively on a variety of issues specific to the Hudson River through the AHRI. Now known as the Hudson River Leadership Navigator, the added component of leadership strategy has been integrated into AHRI’s three main objects: natural resource and environmental protection, economic revitalization, and historic and cultural preservation.