BOSTON, MA (October 27, 2016)—Emerson College has established the Kevin Bright Scholarship Fund—a $10,000 annual fund to help support students with financial need to experience Emerson Los Angles (ELA), its longtime residential study and internship program in Los Angeles. Students awarded funding will be known as Kevin Bright Scholars, in honor of alumnus Kevin Bright, founding director and vice president of ELA and executive producer of the award-winning sitcom Friends. Bright remains involved in ELA after recently stepping down from the position this summer.
The announcement of the Kevin Bright Scholarship Fund took place at ELA’s 16th annual Film & Media Festival on October 22, 2016. It was a surprise for Bright, who was the executive producer of this year's festival.
The newly established fund is made possible in part through the generous support of longtime friend and Emerson Trustee Steve Samuels. “Emerson’s Board of Trustees is deeply appreciative of Kevin’s devotion to Emerson students, as a teacher, benefactor, and Trustee. He has been unwavering in his dedication to creating the very best experience for the hundreds of students that participate in the Los Angeles program each year,” said Samuels.
“Kevin has shown a remarkable commitment to ensuring academic excellence and civic engagement opportunities for Emerson students, as a faculty member on the Boston campus for many years, and as founding director of the College’s permanent facility, ELA, located in Hollywood,” said Emerson College President Lee Pelton. “This newly established scholarship in his name is a perfect way to honor his leadership and his ongoing mentorship of our students.”
Bright has been a generous supporter of the College. In 2010, he established the Bright Family Screening Room in honor of his family, including his late father, vaudeville star and television personality Jackie Bright. Located in the College’s multifaceted Paramount Center on Washington Street in Boston, the Bright Family Screening Room offers free film screenings and discussions with filmmakers through the Bright Lights Film Series. At ELA, Bright established the Bright Family Screening Room West, a 4K screening room.
As a faculty member, Bright’s course, titled Producing Pilots for Television, explored variety, sitcom, and reality television formats. He has also been the longtime faculty advisor for Emerson’s annual EVVY Awards, modeled after professional television awards. Outside of Emerson, Bright volunteers at the Perkins School for the Blind, where he developed a method of teaching film production to students who are visually impaired.
At ELA, Bright expanded programming to offer workshops and events for Emerson alumni and the community at large. He established a commitment for Emerson students to participate in a minimum of two community service days per semester, including participation in the AIDS Walk LA and an annual volunteer project at the LA Food Bank.
Early in Bright’s career, he produced numerous specials for Johnny Cash and David Copperfield. In 1986, he produced the Cable ACE Award–winning series The History of White People in America, as well as HBO specials starring Robin Williams, Harry Shearer, and Paul Shaffer. In 1989, he received his first Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series as supervising producer on Fox’s In Living Color. In 1992, Bright won a Cable ACE Award for Best Comedy Series as executive producer of Dream On.
Bright directed more than 50 episodes of Friends, including the season finale each year. The NBC series received the 2002 Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series and also won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Comedy Series for 10 consecutive years.
About Emerson College
Based 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 approximately 3,780 undergraduates and 670 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 experiential learning programs at Emerson Los Angeles, located in Hollywood, and at its beautifully restored 14th-century castle in the Netherlands. Additionally, there are opportunities to study in Washington, DC, London, China, the Czech Republic, Spain, Austria, Greece, France, Ireland, Mexico, Cuba, England, and South Africa. The College has an active network of 37,000 alumni who hold leadership positions in communication and the arts. For more information, visit emerson.edu.