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Greetings from President Bernhardt

Jay Bernhardt in blue blazer with Little Building, Colonial Building behind him
President Jay Bernhardt

Dear fellow Emersonians,

I’m writing today, my first official day on campus as Emerson’s 13th president, to express my tremendous enthusiasm and profound gratitude for this opportunity to serve and lead. I could not be more excited about the critical work that lies ahead. I also want to recognize the beginning of Pride Month today and wish you all a joyful month as we celebrate with the LGBTQ+ community. I am proud to join with you to support our enduring commitment to equity, access, and social justice.

I want to thank Interim President Bill Gilligan for his extraordinary service to Emerson and his steady and caring leadership these past two years. Over the last several months, I have received countless greetings and warm welcomes from Emersonians around the world, for which I am truly grateful. Additionally, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to the Board of Trustees and its Chair, Eric Alexander ’78, for their strong support as I take on this new leadership role.

Since January, I have learned as much as possible about Emerson’s history, people, programs, and operations, focusing on the opportunities and challenges. Now that I’ve officially started, I’m looking forward to meeting members of our community here in Boston, Los Angeles, the Netherlands, and around the world. I will spend the coming months listening and learning as much as possible.  

Emerson is an extraordinary place with remarkable people. It is an absolute honor and a privilege to be here with the members of this community who make Emerson the special place it is. I am thrilled to work with all of you to envision and create the next chapter in the College’s storied history.

I will be in touch again soon and often in the years ahead. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to email me at to share your thoughts about what makes Emerson great. I also invite you to follow my social media channels on TwitterLinkedIn and Instagram with username @jaybernhardt for regular highlights and updates.

Respectfully yours,
Jay M. Bernhardt

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