Emerson College announced today that alumnus Bill Bordy ’58 has made a $2.5 million gift to Emerson Los Angeles (ELA), the College’s long-standing internship study program, housed in its award-winning building in Hollywood. Bordy’s contribution will support the $20 million dollar fundraising campaign for ELA—The Future Has Your Name on It!—enhancing the LA program and its expansion of innovative academic programming and services for students.
“Emerson College is extremely grateful to Bill Bordy for his generous gift and affirmation of the College’s Los Angeles program,” said Emerson College President Lee Pelton. “He embodies the Emersonian spirit; from the time he was an undergraduate, actively participating in myriad activities, and throughout his remarkable career, Bill has continued to be engaged and supportive of his alma mater, classmates, and students. His gift will increase opportunities to provide world-class experiences in the arts and communication fields for the Emerson community in LA and beyond,” he said.
Bill Bordy '58, second from left, with Diane Weisman, Dotty Geotis MacLean '59, and Diane's husband, Craig Weisman, the son of Helen Teitlebaum Weisman '57, during a recent visit to Emerson Los Angeles. (Courtesy Photo)
Since its inception nearly 30 years ago, more than 4,500 Emerson students (mostly juniors and seniors) have participated in the LA program. In March 2014, the College officially opened its new permanent facility on Sunset Boulevard for the LA program, expanding programs for students and alumni as well as the general public, offering professional certificate programs and serving as a vibrant platform for members of the entertainment and communication industries.
Board of Trustees Co-Vice Chair Vin Di Bona ’66, executive producer of Vin Di Bona Productions, chairs The Future has Your Name on It! Campaign for ELA. “The expanded Los Angeles Program and outstanding new building have transformed the Hollywood landscape,” said Di Bona. “To have Bill Bordy, a fellow alumnus as well as a colleague and leader in the LA entertainment industry, share in our vision for the future of ELA is inspiring. His generosity, and the support from other alumni and friends of the College, is critical to the continued success of ELA, our students, and the industries in which they will become future leaders.”
In honor of Bordy’s major philanthropic commitment, ELA’s 250-person assembly room will be permanently named the Bill Bordy Media and Conference Center.
“Since Emerson built its new site, on the parking lot next door to the very spot where I spent so much of my life publishing Drama-Logue, I’ve been wanting to visit the facility and do a little something for my old alma mater, as well as Hollywood itself,” said Bordy. “I’m so happy to have endowed the Bill Bordy Media and Conference Center—a facility that will benefit both Emerson College and my friends and colleagues in the Los Angeles theatrical community.”
An Enduring Connection
Bordy’s gift to ELA is only the latest chapter in a life and career of championing the arts and entertainment professions. A native of Homestead, Pennsylvania, Bordy graduated from Brentwood High School and attended the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh before receiving a Bachelor of Arts from Emerson College in 1958. His education also took him to Paris, where he studied at the Sorbonne.
Upon moving to Hollywood, he wrote, produced, directed, and performed in motion pictures, television, and stage productions. In 1972, he founded and published Drama-Logue—a weekly theatrical trade print publication for actors, entertainers, and behind-the-scenes talent. He emceed the Annual Drama-Logue Awards show for two decades. The awards honored performers, writers, directors, producers, tech people—all those who worked in the theater from San Francisco to San Diego. In 1998, Bordy sold Drama-Logue to Billboard Publications, which merged Drama-Logue into its Back Stage West publication.
In the years since graduating from Emerson, Bordy has remained a dedicated supporter of the College and its students. In 1987, he established the Bill Bordy Scholarship, given annually to a student in Performing Arts; Visual and Media Arts; Journalism; or Writing, Literature and Publishing. For a gift he gave the College in 2002, Bordy was honored with the naming of the Bill Bordy Theater and Auditorium, located on the main campus in Boston. With this latest contribution, Bordy, who resides in Sarasota, Florida, has created an enduring legacy at Emerson College on both coasts.
“Bill’s powerful voice is only surpassed by his generous heart. From the original founding of Drama-Logue to lead actors to jobs, to his many contributions to the theatre of Los Angeles, Bill has shared his boundless spirit and love of life with the greater community. His gift will allow Emerson to produce new talent for the entertainment industry in exactly the location where he lived and worked,” said Emerson President Emerita Jackie Liebergott.
“The first year of Emerson Los Angeles has been tremendously exciting and gratifying as we continue to create innovative ways to use our new facilities to support curriculum, professional studies courses, and events,” said Emerson Los Angeles Founding Director Kevin Bright ’76. “This gift opens up so many possibilities for extraordinary programs and events that continue to make the ELA experience such an important part of our students’ transition into their chosen fields and further establishes the College’s commitment to Los Angeles and the entertainment and communication industries.”
About Emerson College
Located in Boston, Massachusetts, opposite the historic Boston Common and in the heart of the city’s Theatre District, Emerson College educates individuals who will solve problems and change the world through engaged leadership in communication and the arts, a mission informed by liberal learning. The College has 3,750 undergraduates and 750 graduate students from across the United States and 50 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art facilities and a renowned faculty, students participate in more than 90 student organizations and performance groups. Emerson is known for its study and internship programs in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, the Netherlands, London, China, and the Czech Republic. For more information, visit the emerson.edu.
About Emerson Los Angeles
Based in Boston, Emerson College, the world’s premier center for the study and practice of communication and the arts, was the first East Coast college to establish a residential study and internship program in Los Angeles in the 1980s. The College’s permanent facility, located on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, represents a significant commitment to the city and to the entertainment and communication industries. Designed by internationally renowned architect Thom Mayne of Morphosis Architects, the Gold LEED–certified facility had its grand opening in March 2014. More than 4,500 Emerson students have already participated in internships at renowned film studios, media outlets, marketing agencies, and related enterprises in LA. For more information on Emerson College Los Angeles, visit emerson.edu/ela.