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Excitement mounting for LA campus

By Andy Tiedemann
July 18, 2013

LA campus

An artist rendering of the exterior of Emerson College Los Angeles, which opens in 2014.

The excitement is mounting throughout the Emerson community and the City of Los Angeles as the College’s stunning new facility prepares to open its doors in January 2014.

Located in the heart of Hollywood at 5960 West Sunset Boulevard, Emerson College Los Angeles will represent the realization of a dream. The College will now have a permanent West Coast presence that will offer a dynamic curriculum to students and will be a gathering place for industry leaders, neighborhood associations, and alumni.

 

LA construction beam

The final construction beam for the Emerson College Los Angeles Center was raised onto the structure July 18, 2013.

Designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Thom Mayne, the Los Angeles Center is sure to turn heads, draw rave reviews, and instill community pride. The new facility will house approximately 220 students, as well as residence hall staff and several visiting faculty in more than 100,000 square feet of state-of-the-art classroom facilities, production and performance studios, outdoor event spaces, a Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound audio post-production suite, and much more.

 

LA campus

An artist rendering of the Los Angeles campus from Sunset Boulevard.

Emerson President Lee Pelton said, “The exciting intellectual and curricular possibilities presented by this new facility are limited only by our imaginations. Our faculty and administration will develop an array of innovative offerings in Los Angeles that will further advance Emerson’s academic excellence in teaching and learning.”

Emerson College will continue its current highly successful and frequently emulated undergraduate “LA Program.” The program includes an internship coupled with two courses and is currently overseen by Executive Director Jim Lane.

Emerson College Los Angeles will provide opportunities for undergraduates and graduate students from all of the College’s academic disciplines to study in Los Angeles. In addition, Emerson will offer certificate programs and executive education programs aimed at those in the entertainment, communication, and media industries.

 

LA campus

An artist rendering of the fifth floor terrace of the Los Angeles campus.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti praised Emerson College Los Angeles as “a new center of creativity,” calling the College “one of the finest institutions” of higher education that is producing “the next generation of entertainment professionals.”

Leading Emerson College Los Angeles will be Kevin Bright ’76, creator and producer of the NBC hit series Friends, who has been appointed senior executive and founding director. Bright, who has taught Television and Film Production at Emerson for 
six years said, “The idea of immersion in a city that caters professionally
to your passion in learning is going to be very attractive to our students. It will
also provide the opportunity for industry partnerships with Emerson, to create dynamic and unique programming. Through diversity projects and civic engagement, it is my hope that Emerson will play an important role in the LA community.”

Southern California is home to more than 3,500 Emerson alumni, including many who work in the television and film industries. Lisa Gregorian ’86, executive vice president for worldwide marketing at Warner Bros. Television Group, said she expects Emerson’s new center to be “a place of innovation, a place of diversity, and a place of creativity.”

Max Mutchnick ’87, producer and creator of the hit series Will & Grace, agreed: “This incredible center is opening in the heart of Hollywood, where it’s all happening.”

 

LA campus

An artist's rendering of the entry terrace and lobby of the Los Angeles facility.

In a campaign dubbed “The Future Has Your Name on It,” the College is seeking $20 million in gifts and pledges from alumni, parents, and friends to establish financial aid funds for students who wish to study in LA; to endow faculty and instructor positions for LA; to create research and faculty development funds for LA-related programs; and to provide funding for lectureships and other opportunities. Donors will have the option of being recognized for their generosity by having their names associated with the new facility.

“This is a great time for Emerson College, as we are strengthening our leadership in communication and the arts on both the east and west coasts,”
said Jeff Schoenherr, vice president for development and alumni relations. “It is important for alumni, parents, and friends of the College to step forward and support Emerson through giving to the Campaign. There are various levels and ways to participate, so everyone has the opportunity to play a role.”

 

LA campus

An artist rendering of the Grand Stair at the Los Angeles campus.

“Getting the best and the brightest in the industry involved with the new Emerson program, having our students have the chance to meet and talk with them, well, you just don’t know what
they will come up with as a result,” said Dawn Steinberg ’83, executive vice president of talent and casting at Sony Pictures Television. “They might create the next great TV show or film or book or Internet series,” she said.


To date, this will be the largest, most ambitious, and most important fundraising effort in the College’s history. Trustee Vin Di Bona ’66 has already made a generous commitment. “Emerson’s opportunity to make an even greater contribution to society in general, and to the Los Angeles community, depends on those of us with the capacity to provide the critically needed resources to step forward,” said Di Bona. “I very much hope you will join me and several others who have already made significant commitments to help make this new venture succeed. Gifts of all sizes are encouraged, welcomed, and needed.”

 For more information about Emerson College Los Angeles, visit emerson.edu/ela. For information about how to get involved with the fundraising effort, please contact Patrick Smith at 617-824- 8201; patrick_smith@emerson.edu.

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