While Emerson College’s alumni, faculty, and friends continue to raise money toward a scholarship fund to be named in President Jacqueline Liebergott’s honor, the Paramount Center’s Black Box theater was renamed the Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre during a gala dinner in Boston on March 17.
Philanthropist and Board of Trustee’s Chair Emeritus Ted Cutler ’51 unveiled a plaque listing the names of colleagues, friends, and business associates who have contributed more than $1.5 million to date in support of the newly established Jacqueline Liebergott Scholarship Fund and other academic initiatives. Contributions to the fund are welcome through June.
“The Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre in the Paramount Center is a wonderful and much-deserved tribute,” said Cutler. “Jackie has been such an enthusiastic supporter of the arts and her unwavering guidance and fortitude over the last 19 years has further established the College as a leader in communication and the arts. She has been the heart and soul of Emerson College.”
The Boston gala recognized the legacy that Liebergott leaves Emerson College and the City of Boston. America’s Funniest Home Videos creator, producer, and Trustee Vin Di Bona ’66 was the master of ceremonies at the event.
During her nearly two decades at the helm, she led the initiative to move the campus from the residential area of the Back Bay to the Theatre District—a move that transformed the College and re-energized an historic neighborhood.
Among those who attended to wish her well: co-creator of Friends, Distinguished-Artist-in-Residence, and Trustee Kevin Bright ’76; creator and executive producer of Will & Grace and Trustee Max Mutchnick ’87; Board of Trustees Chair Peter Meade ’70; public relations entrepreneur and Board Vice Chair Larry Rasky ’78; documentarian and Trustee Gary Grossman ’70; Trustee Linda Schwartz ’67; Alumni Board Member Sandi Goldfarb ’78; director of Ford's Theatre Paul Tetreault '84; and Trustees Judy Huret '69, Steven Samuels, Al Jaffe '67, Eric Alexander '78, Doug Holloway '76, and Marillyn Zacharis.
Former Emerson College Vice President for Administration and Finance Rob Silverman, who was a key advisor in the design and construction of the Paramount Center, unveiled a portrait of Liebergott, commissioned by the College to celebrate her legacy. The oil painting, which was created by Warren and Lucia Prosperi, will be displayed on campus in the Iwasaki Library. The Prosperis also collaborated on the portrait of Cutler and his late wife Joan, which can be seen in the lobby of the College’s Cutler Majestic Theatre.
Kevin and Claudia Bright generously opened their Los Angeles home on March 5 for a magical evening that celebrated Liebergott’s presidency. Attended by more than 200 Emersonians, the guests heard moving personal reflections on Liebergott’s contributions to the College from Bright, Henry Winkler ’67, and Maria Menounos ’00. Winkler and Menounos were co-masters of ceremony. Joe Bwarie ’99 provided lively musical entertainment.
At the L.A. event, Liebergott thanked the past and present chairs of the Board for their support and encouragement throughout her tenure. Noting the perils of singling out individuals in speeches, she went on to say that she could not have been successful as Emerson’s president without the presence of her husband Harvey and her family. She also remarked on Kevin Bright’s many intellectual gifts to Emerson and the tireless work of Ted Cutler over the decades.