Emerson College was Ashley Menard’s top choice. Scratch that—it was the only school she wanted to attend. But with no financial support from family, Menard ’20 wasn’t sure she’d be able to go.
She was in the middle of a terrible day this summer when Angela Grant, director of Financial Aid, called to tell her she was a recipient of an Ed Ansin Diversity Scholarship, allowing her to study Journalism at her dream school.
“Just knowing I didn’t have to settle for another school was just an amazing feeling,” the Lynn, Massachusetts, resident said.
The scholarship Menard won was endowed in 2002 by Ed Ansin, co-founder, president, and CEO of Sunbeam Television Corp., owner locally of WHDH TV-Channel 7. He followed that gift up earlier this year with the Art Teitelbaum ’60 Memorial Scholarship, named for Ansin’s good friend and head of the Anti-Defamation League in South Florida, who died last November. In 1997, he also made a significant financial contribution to 180 Tremont Street, the Ansin Building.
Menard; fellow Ansin Diversity Scholarship winner Emma Trujillo ’20; Ross Cristaniello ’18 and Celia Carbone ’20, winners of the Teitelbaum Scholarship; Ansin’s son, James; and representatives from Sunbeam, Channel 7, and the College, gathered in the building that bears his name on Friday, September 16, to thank Ansin for his generosity to the College.
“We’re here to express our gratitude to Ed and the Ansin family for making a commitment to core aspects of Emerson College, and that is diversity and inclusive excellence, as we call it here,” President Lee Pelton said in remarks, “because we understand that colleges and universities should be places where a variety of ideas and perspectives, beliefs and backgrounds, come together to create a rich and enduring learning experience for our students.
The Ansin Diversity Scholarship supports undergraduates from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, first-generation college students, or students from racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented at Emerson who demonstrate financial need. The Teitelbaum Scholarship is also awarded based on financial need but is awarded to Journalism majors from Massachusetts.
Ansin said he became interested in Emerson in 1993, when he bought Channel 7 and its general manager had a son who went to Emerson. Over the years, the station has hired many journalists and interns from the College.
He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. But his close friend Teitelbaum, who used his “wonderful radio voice” honed at WERS in his work as a spokesman for the ADL, was an alumnus of Emerson.
“I knew him for 40 years, maybe more, and this was the love of his life, apart from his family, of course,” Ansin said.
Teitelbaum worked hard to expose hate crimes in South Florida, especially in the 1960s and 1970s, when the Ku Klux Klan was still active around Miami. The media played a huge role in that exposure, and thanks to Ansin’s gift, a new generation of journalists will be trained at Emerson to carry on that type of work.
Cristaniello, a Maynard, Massachusetts, native who wants to be a print journalist, said he was “honored” and “frankly kind of surprised” to get the Teitelbaum Scholarship.
“I love attending Emerson and this award definitely makes it easier for me and my family, which I appreciate a lot,” he said.