Emerson breaks ground in Los Angeles
March 08, 2012
Emerson broke ground on the College’s new facility in Los Angeles on March 8, 2012 with much fanfare. Actor and author Henry Winkler ’67 served as master of ceremonies for his alma mater, which he called “the greatest small college on the planet.”
Located at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Gordon Street in Hollywood, the new facility is expected to be completed by Fall 2014. The building, designed by world-renowned architect Thom Mayne, will enrich academic programming and opportunities for undergraduates and graduate and professional studies students, as well as create spaces that integrate living and learning. The building will include residence halls, classrooms, and administrative spaces, and will be LEED Gold certified for being environmentally-friendly.
Henry Winkler '67 entertained the crowd as the master of ceremonies of the Los Angeles groundbreaking ceremony.
“Today, we celebrate the first steps toward what will be an ambitious new endeavor that will further benefit our students, the fields we serve, and the City of Los Angeles itself,” President Lee Pelton said at the ceremony. “We are proud to be here [and] to put a stake in the ground—another milestone on the path to living out our highest and most noble aspirations as one of the nation’s leading institutions of higher learning.”
Pelton also emphasized Emerson’s commitment to Los Angeles and Hollywood, to be “good neighbors, effective citizens, and civic partners.” To that end, Emerson provides one full scholarship per year to a student at the Helen Bernstein High School, which is located near the site of the new facility.
Besides Pelton, speaking at the ceremony were Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti, Chair of the Emerson Board of Trustees Jeffrey Greenhawt ’68, Sony Pictures executive Lucia Cottone ’92, and the project architect Mayne.
Pictured breaking ground at Emerson College Los Angeles are (from left) Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti, Emerson President Lee Pelton, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Emerson College President Emeritus Jackie Liebergott, Emerson alumnus Henry Winkler '67, and project architect Thom Mayne.
Garcetti told the crowd that being “put here in the birthplace of creativity is a new beacon, a new center of creativity [Emerson College]…” and called Emerson “one of the finest institutions in breeding the next generation of entertainment professionals.”
Emersonians from Boston to Los Angeles and everywhere in between also participated in the ceremony via a live video feed on Emerson’s website and on Twitter. Nearly 1,000 people tuned in.
@FischerLighting tweeted: “Watching the #EmersonLA groundbreaking live from NYC! Exciting! “
@MegLamontagne tweeted: “I wish I was still a student at @EmersonCollege so I could attend the new #EmersonLA campus! I am a proud @EmersonAlumni though!”
Others on hand for the ceremony included: Emerson President Emeritus Jacqueline Liebergott; Vice President for Academic Affairs Linda Moore; President of the Hollywood of Chamber of Commerce Leron Gubler; Bernstein High School College Counselor Rachel Livingston; President of the Los Angeles Emerson Alumni Association Chapter Mark Stewart ’77; former Vice President for Administration Robert Silverman; and a number of Trustees, alumni, students, faculty, and staff.
Emerson's new facility in Los Angeles will house more then 200 students and will also include classrooms and administrative space.
Emerson has had a presence in the greater Los Angles area since 1986, when the College’s Los Angeles internship program began. With more than 1,000 intern sites in film, TV, radio, new media, music, management, publicity, marketing, and public relations, the program offers a range of opportunities that will expand with the new facility. Classrooms are currently located in rented space in Burbank. A new academic advisory committee formed by President Pelton is reviewing a variety of proposals for academic programs for the facility during this spring and summer.
Check out more of the online conversation from the groundbreaking below.