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Scholarship Honors a Friendship with Opportunity

Art Teitelbaum '60 was “dedicated” to championing civil rights, according to his friend, Ed Ansin.

As head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in Florida and a champion for civil rights, Emerson alumnus Art Teitelbaum was on the news quite a bit during his 40-plus years with the ADL. Sometimes he appeared on Ed Ansin’s television station in Miami, and the two became good friends.

Ansin described his friend as above all, “dedicated” – to fighting discrimination, to protecting people’s rights, and to spreading the message of tolerance and equality. So when Teitelbaum passed away last November at the age of 77, Ansin wanted to help pass along that dedication to a whole new generation of Emerson students.

The Art Teitelbaum ’60 Memorial Scholarship will recognize two undergraduate students annually who are from Massachusetts with a major in Journalism and demonstrated financial need. Each student will be awarded a $5,000 grant, starting in fall 2016.

“Art was a good friend of mine for many years,” said Ansin, co-founder of Sunbeam Television and owner of WHDH-Channel 7 and WLVI, locally. “He did outstanding work in terms of civil rights; some of it he did with our station in Miami. I knew that he was a graduate of Emerson, and it seemed to me a scholarship in his memory was very appropriate.”

Teitelbaum earned a degree in speech from Emerson and began his career in radio right out of college. His experience on the airwaves helped him make an impact on behalf of the ADL.

“He had a beautiful voice,” Ansin said. “He was a great communicator, both in person, on the radio, TV stories, etc. He was always very focused and effective.”

Phil Glenn, dean of the School of Communication, said he is “particularly encouraged” that the scholarship will help journalism students, because it is a field that has great civic benefit and is a major that often attracts students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Ed Ansin endowed a journalism scholarship in the name of his friend, Art Teitelbaum '60.

This is not Ansin’s first gift to Emerson, though he himself graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He provided $1 million toward the building on Tremont Street that bears his name, and also gave $250,000 to establish the Ansin Diversity Scholarship.

 “We are so very grateful for this gift,” Vice President of Enrollment Management Ruthanne Madsen said. “Not only is the scholarship acknowledging an extraordinary Emerson alumnus, Art Teitelbaum, but it will help to provide many students in the years to come with access to a world-class education, which is the greatest gift anyone can give.”

Art Teitelbaum was not just a tireless defender of civil rights, according to his widow, Brenda Kilmer, he was a “Renaissance man”.

“He believed in the power of the written word and spoken word to change lives,” Kilmer said in a statement. “His unwavering voice was a force of fairness and compassion – a true warrior. Thanks to the generosity of Ed Ansin, others will have the opportunity to find their voice, hone their skills, and impact their communities as did Art.” 

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