My name is Elijah Bender and I am currently a senior at Marist College. This is my first time interning at the Hudson River Valley Institute and I am excited to apply my interest in this region and its past toward the Hudson River Valley Institute’s initiative. I was born and raised in Manhattan and eventually moved to Rhinebeck, NY where I currently live. I developed my love for history in my early years through the stories told by my father and grandfather. Together, we would go antiquing and sightseeing and they would point out notable landmarks, share tales of individuals, and narratives of various historical events.
Growing up in Greenwich Village in Manhattan provided me with a wealth of historical
diversity. In deciding my major, history was a no-brainer and seems to be a perfect fit. I am deeply interested in the Hudson River Valley and constantly seek out sites and stories concerning local history. Marist has been a great experience and I have even learned that I am interested in other areas of history outside of my own; for instance, African studies which I find fascinating. I was honored to be inducted into the Phi Alpha Theta history honors society for my academic achievements and am also a member of the Marist College History Club and the Prelaw Club on campus. Law school is in my future and I am currently studying to take the LSAT and begin the application process. I strongly believe that my degree in history has best prepared me for this next course of education and complements the study of law nicely.
In my free time, I own and operate Foster’s Coach House Tavern in Rhinebeck with my
father. We bought the restaurant in December of 2016 and have worked for the past six months to revive and enhance this Hudson Valley landmark. It has been a wonderful experience to continue the tradition of such a notable establishment and has provided me with a great deal of experience. Outside of academics, I enjoy activities like fishing, shooting, cross country skiing, antiquing, hobby carpentry, historic preservation, cooking, and other similar activities. I find time to volunteer at the Rhinebeck Fire Department where I drive the ambulance and serve as the recording secretary. I am also working on restoring a 1944 Dodge Powerwagon that was an army ambulance in WWII. It’s in rough shape but will hopefully be a showpiece soon enough. I always like a good movie and am fond of the classics. I always gravitate toward watching sports, when time permits, particularly Baseball, Football, and Hockey. I consider it a great honor to be
associated with the Hudson River Valley Institute and am confident the relationship will be mutually beneficial.