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ELA reception unites students, parents, leaders

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Tyler Gilbert '15, Ashley Crocker '15, Grant Mueller '15, and Zachary Anderson '15 discuss their recent internship experiences while attending Emerson Los Angeles with ELA Founding Director Kevin Bright '76 during the President's Society Cocktail Reception on February 26. (Photo by Michelle Kwong '15)

Emerson College Los Angeles students shared their LA Program experiences with members of the Emerson Board of Trustees, alumni, parents, and friends during a President’s Society Cocktail Reception on February 26.

President Lee Pelton began the evening by announcing a $2.5 million gift from Bill Bordy ’58 to support The Future Has Your Name on It! campaign for ELA.

The President’s Society is made up of alumni, parents, and friends who make lead annual gifts of $1,000 or more in support of the College and its students. The event also included several donors who have made gifts of $10,000 or more to the Future Has Your Name on It! campaign since its inception and, in recognition, have had spaces in the building named in their honor. 

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Attendees begin arriving at the President's Society Cocktail Reception at ELA on February 26. (Photo by Michelle Kwong '15)

ELA students Zach Anderson ’15, Grant Mueller ’15, Ashley Crocker ’15, and Tyler Gilbert ’15 were on hand for the announcement and shared their LA stories with audience members during a panel moderated by ELA Founding Director Kevin Bright ’76.

“I’ve had some really cool opportunities. I’ve gotten to see the stars. I got to walk to the Academy Awards,” said Anderson, a Visual and Media Arts major interning at Red Hour Films. “It’s exciting to be right in the heart of LA.”

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Alumnus Michael Jay Solomon with ELA Founding Director Kevin Bright '76 and Board of Overseers member Lisa Dollinger P' 10. (Photo by Michelle Kwong '15)

Mueller, a Visual and Media Arts major, said he landed his internship at Comedy Central with the help of Emerson Trustee Doug Herzog ’81. Mueller said that he’s encountered many alumni through attending various events in LA.

“Emersonsians are everywhere,” said Mueller.

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Bob Huret and Emerson Trustee Judy Huret, MA '69, near the entrance of the garden named in their honor at Emerson Los Angeles during the February 26 reception. (Photo by Michelle Kwong '15)

Billie Larson Shipley ’07, Emerson College GOLD Alumni Council LA Chapter event chair, asked the panel what she and other recent alumni could do to help students as they begin to think about life after graduation.

Crocker, an intern at Psychic Bunny, said that seeing recent alumni at ELA events such as the reception and having the opportunity to speak with them was helpful.

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The audience during the panel discussion with students during the February 26 event at ELA. (Photo by Michelle Kwong '15)

“Coming to these events is really cool because I see that alumni really care,” said Crocker. “We get to talk to so many alumni.”

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Emerson College President Lee Pelton taking the podium at the February 26 President's Society Cocktail Reception at Emerson Los Angeles. (Photo by Michelle Kwong '15)

At the end of the panel, students had an opportunity to mingle and network with alumni.

Gilbert, who’s interning at BOOM! Studios, connected with Ira Goldstone ’71, a broadcast engineering technologist and executive engineer at Fox Television.

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Ira Goldstone '71 poses near an ELA room named in his honor during the President's Society Cocktail Reception. (Photo by Michelle Kwong '15)

“Ira and I talked about working on the Fox lot and all the history that has happened there. He also had some advice on where I should live when I move off campus,” said Gilbert.

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Jason Mara and Emerson Overseer Mike Mara '81 pose near a room named in honor of the Mara family during the February 26 reception. (Photo by Michelle Kwong '15)

Gilbert said that one common piece of advice he got from talking with different alumni was that Hollywood is a very social industry, so he should keep in contact with his peers and other Emerson alumni.

“These connections have helped them in their careers,” said Gilbert. “[Now] they have passed it down to those who are just starting.”

To learn more about supporting The Future Has Your Name on It! campaign and naming opportunities within the ELA building, please contact Patrick Smith, campaign director, at patrick_smith@emerson.edu or call 323-952-6216.