Publisher, actor, writer, and director Bill Bordy ’58 was honored by friends, family, and Emerson College alumni on September 9 at a dedication ceremony celebrating the $2.5 million gift he gave to Emerson College Los Angeles. The dedication ceremony took place, appropriately, in the 250-person assembly room named after him, the Bill Bordy Media Conference Center.
“Bill’s gift to ELA is the latest chapter of a life and career dedicated to supporting the arts and entertainment professions,” said President Lee Pelton. “It’s clear he embodies the Emerson spirit.”
Jasmine Reyes '16, Bill Bordy '58, Colby Smalzel '16, Victoria Beaudoin '16, Amber Fernald '16, and Matthew Prince '16 at the dedication ceremony on September 9. (Photo by Michelle Kwong '15)
During the ceremony, Linda Levine ’77 sang a medley of songs from one of Bordy’s favorite musicals, Gypsy, and Dotty MacLean ’59 sang “Won’t You Come Bill Bordy,” a riff on the old standard “Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey.”
“Bill is a true Emerson treasure,” said Kevin Bright ’76, ELA’s Vice President and Founding Director. “This [assembly] room has been the gathering place for our students since our opening. Bill’s gift opens up so many possibilities for programs and events.”
Emerson Los Angeles Vice President Kevin Bright '76, Bill Bordy '58, and Emerson College President Lee Pelton. (Photo by Michelle Kwong '15)
Before the ribbon-cutting ceremony and sign unveiling, Bordy spoke to the crowd about the strong connection he has to ELA, which sits next to the spot where he spent much of his life publishing Drama-Logue, a trade publication described by the LA Times as the “unofficial newsletter of the LA theater scene.”
“I was waiting for them to finally get this place built so I could give them a little something,” said Bordy, who jokingly referred to the assembly room as the Bill Bordy Ballroom.
Jayne and Bill Bordy with President Lee Pelton. (Photo by Michelle Kwong '15)
Among the well-wishers at the ceremony was Matthew Prince ’16, a Visual and Media Arts major who wanted to attend the event to meet Bordy and other Emerson alumni.
“I see their names on buildings and they’re all really important in my field,” said Prince. “I’m excited to meet them.”
Bill Bordy '58 gets ready to cut the ribbon to unveil the new Bill Bordy Media Conference Center at Emerson Los Angeles. (Photo by Michelle Kwong '15)
Bordy’s niece, Jayne, an elementary school teacher who used to work at Drama-Logue, spoke of her uncle’s energetic personality and generosity. She shared a story about how one of her former students, Christopher Kramer ’18, made a connection between the Bill Bordy Theater and Auditorium on Emerson’s Boston campus and her surname.
“He posted a photo of the name on Facebook and said, ‘Do you know this man?’ I told him that was my uncle!” said Jayne. “I’m happy to celebrate him tonight.”
Several friends, family, and alumni attended the Bill Bordy Media Conference Center dedication September 9 at Emerson College Los Angeles. (Photo by Michelle Kwong '15)
A young Bill Bordy '58 and replica of programs from his thetrical productions at Emerson. (Photo by Michelle Kwong '15)
Emerson LA Vice President Kevin Bright '76 with Trustee Vin Di Bona '66 at the Bordy dedication ceremony. (Photo by Michelle Kwong '15)