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We’re Not Lion: Emerson Week, May 3-9, the Virtual Place to Be

The first-ever Emerson Week will be jam-packed with pomp and circumstance, celebrations, reunions, career development panels, and much more. The week, May 3-9, includes in-person and virtual celebrations of the classes of 2020 and 2021, the 40th EVVY Awards, and 50-plus events for the entire Emerson community.

Bust of statue with graduation hat on top
Norman Lear’s statue is ready for Emerson Week!

“There’s something for everyone – current students, incoming students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents,” said Christine Del Favero, director of Alumni Relations.

The alumni team put out a call for events, and wow – did they get a response. Del Favero said the majority of the events were created because the Emerson community pitched them.

“This is what we dreamed of. This is completely authentic Emerson because everybody is telling their stories,” said Del Favero.


The week will kick off Sunday, May 2, with an in-person Commencement ceremony at Fenway Park for the Class of 2021 at 10:00 am and for the Class of 2020 at 4:00 pm. The College was unable to celebrate last year’s graduates in-person due to the pandemic shutdown. These ceremonies will have limited attendance, but will be live streamed for all to see.

On Sunday, May 9, at 10:00 am, the Class of 2021 Online Commencement Ceremony be streamed on and feature awards, and speeches from students, a guest speaker, and President Pelton. The ceremony will last about an hour and can be watched later.

Emerson Week will also include the 40th EVVY Awards on Friday, May 7, which is being prerecorded and streamed on YouTube.

There will be many Emerson-centric events, such as ComEx! Tonight, a late-night-style talk show being hosted by Candace Rosado ‘21. The show is being aired on Thursday, May 6, at 7:00 pm.

“There is literally so much that I am stoked for, but I think the main thing I’m excited about are the interviews! We have some amazing guests, and this show is going to give people the chance to see them in a whole new way,” said Rosado, who prerecorded interviews with comics Bob Saget, Reggie Watts, and Leslie Jones.

There will be student stand-up performances from Stand Up in the Park, a new organization led by Sasha Waintraub ‘24, Jonah Bowen ‘24, and Eddie Tarr ‘24.

Rosado has been preparing by drinking a steady stream of coffee while writing/rewriting lots of jokes and watching late-night interviews for inspiration. Interested in watching? Register through the link, share it with friends, cousins, the neighbor’s dog, and anyone else!

Kevin Lyles ’79 working at WERS. (Image courtesy Kevin Lyles)

A reunion for The Black Experience, a show that previously aired on WERS, will take place on Saturday, May 8, from 4:00 to 5:00 pm.

For four years, starting in 1975, Kevin Lyles ’79 engineered almost every show and worked with all talent. He was also a music director, program director, announcer, and producer for the show.

“I am excited to renew acquaintances with a lot of great individuals whom I had the pleasure to go to school with and work with, and to be part of a unique time period in Black radio in Boston and New England that gave us an outsized reach that we would not normally have had in most urban markets,” said Lyles, who is organizing the reunion.

Marlene McCurtis ’79, secretary of the Alumni Board, said when she moved to Boston from New York, she was shocked that Boston didn’t have a strong Black radio presence. For McCurtis, WERS was a touchstone where music, news, and discussion were geared towards the Black community.

“I’m excited about this event because it’s a chance to elevate, celebrate, and explore the contribution that WERS and Emerson made on Black radio and the music scene in Boston during the ’70s and ’80s,” said McCurtis. “I also hope this event will be inspiring to current students to create more diverse programming.”

For all the Emersonians who ever skipped across the pond to Kasteel Well, there will be a reunion on Saturday, May 8, at 2:30 pm. It will include a virtual tour of the improvements made to the castle, appearances by beloved faculty and staff, and a slideshow of the last class.

“I’m excited about the fact that we will have at least a virtual Kasteel Well reunion, and am hoping that the Kasteel Well crew gets to see many more familiar faces than had we had a physical reunion,” said Dulcia Meijers, executive director of Emerson’s European Center.

The 2021 Alumni Achievement Awards will be on YouTube Premiere on Saturday, May 8, at 7:00 pm, when the honorees will discuss their careers, Emerson experiences, and more. This year’s distinguished award winners are: Lisa Gregorian ’83, MA ’86; Bill Ludel ’70; Charles Stewart ’86; and Merri Sugarman ’84. Young Alumni Award winner Courtney Overton, MS ’13 will have a conversation with Megan Mitchell ’14.

There will be numerous other virtual reunions: for classes, clubs, sports teams (tennis, cross-country, volleyball, basketball, softball, the defunct wrestling team). Here are just a handful :

There will be numerous career development panels including:

Mike Brown at Emerson College in 1979, a mere 42 years ago.

This was the first academic year after Emerson’s alliance with Marlboro College was finalized, and the Marlboro Institute of Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies at Emerson College is continuing the tradition of graduating students presenting their Plans and senior capstone projects at the Marlboro Institute Awards and Senior Celebration. This event will be at 2:00 pm on Zoom on Saturday, May 8.

And let’s not forget about one of the most anticipated events: The Professor Mike Brown Semicentennial Celebration will celebrate the beloved Journalism professor on his 50 years at Emerson and counting on Tuesday, May 4, at 7:30 pm.

The full schedule of Emerson Week events are online for everyone to view. All events are open to the public and sign in is not required.

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