In complete archive
Informal photo of President Chapin in an office with a row of windows behind him. Chapin sits sideways with his arm hanging over the settee. In his right hand he holds what appears to be a pipe for smoking. Richard Chapin was a graduate of Harvard College and received his MBA from Harvard as well. He served as assistant dean for educational planning at Harvard’s Graduate School of Business Administration before arriving at Emerson in the midst of a socially turbulent time. Despite social unrest on campus and around the world, President Chapin was able to promote the College’s academic advancement as well as continue the expansion of its campus and its finances. Chapin addressed the problem of hiring and retaining faculty members with PhDs to continue the College’s accreditation by NEASC. To give the faculty a voice and provide a more democratic governance of the College, he approved the creation of a Faculty Assembly in 1969. He also helped enhance the College’s curriculum by reorganizing departments and revising the general requirements for an undergraduate degree.
1962 - 1980
Exterior view of 534 Beacon Street, a modern limestone and red brick apartment building. In 1972, the college leased, and later purchased 534 Beacon Street for use as the Fensgate Dormitory. Hotel Fensgate was built in 1923-1924. The 72-room apartment house had a restaurant downstairs famous for its steak and lobster menu. Hotel Fensgate also gave an early start to the career of legendary music entrepreneur George Wein. Wein started a music series, La Jazz Doux at the Satire Room, before gaining fame with his Storyville nightclub and record label, and founding the music festivals at Newport (Newport Jazz and Newport Folk). During the late 1930s and 1940s, it also featured a small nightclub, the Satire Room (later renamed Cafe Society). In 1952, the club hosted the first Beaux Arts Ball, the highlight of the gay social season. The hotel manager disapproved of his lobby full of men dressed in chiffon and ladies in tuxedos, so the ball found another venue. The building would be used a dormitory and dining hall for Chandler School of Women (1961-1973), and briefly used for the same purpose by Boston University, before Emerson College moved-in. In 1982, an early incarnation of the ProArts Consortium was housed in the Emerson dormitory at Fensgate. The inter-arts residency program, then called Art House, consisted of a director and 50 students from the BAC, MassArt, the SMFA, and Emerson College. Emerson continued to operate Fensgate Dormitory until the mid-1990s.
Photo of the buildings with people on the sidewalk and a car on the street. In 1964, the College purchased 132-134 Beacon Street for use as a dormitory.
President Koenig sits behind a desk or table. He looks away from the camera and holds eyeglasses in his hand. There are folders, papers and coffee cups on the table. Allen Koenig received his BA degree from the University of Southern California, his MA degree from Stanford University, and his PhD in speech communication from Northwestern University. He came to Emerson from the University of Southern California’s Idyllwild campus, where he served as executive director. President Koenig turned an eye toward academic excellence by increasing the percentage of faculty with terminal degrees from 46 percent to 72 percent. In addition, the student body grew by 66 percent during his presidency. Koenig continued to expand the Boston campus to meet the needs of faculty and students with the purchase of the Majestic Theatre in 1983, as well as several other buildings in the Back Bay area. The Majestic Theatre was restored over a period of several years and in 1989 reopened as a live performance theater with the student musical George M! During his presidency, Koenig worked to secure land in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in a bid to build an entirely new and unified campus. But by 1989, a move to Lawrence was deemed unfeasible, due to financial constraints and dissent from the Emerson community. Despite the failed bid to move Emerson out of Boston, Koenig was still able to expand the College’s reach. In 1985, a formal overseas program began in The Netherlands at Kasteel Well, purchased by Emerson in 1988. In 1986, Emerson began its Los Angeles program for students seeking internships and networking opportunities on the West Coast; the program continues to this day.
Formal photographic portrait of President McKinley. S. Justus McKinley graduated from Franklin and Marshall College and earned his AM and PhD degrees from Harvard. He was recruited by Emerson College in 1934 to head the History and Social Sciences Department. In 1946, he left Emerson for a professorship at Springfield College, citing differences of opinion with the administration of Boylston Green. After a nearly three-year period of turmoil following Green’s resignation, which included two failed interim presidencies, S. Justus McKinley was asked to return to Emerson to become its next president. McKinley returned to Emerson at a time when the College was in financial crisis and on the brink of collapse. Student morale was terrible and plagiarism was rampant. To combat these problems, he boosted student morale by attending every student production and making himself more visible and available to the student body. He also stressed the importance of academics over social clubs and extracurricular activities. He created two new departments, Broadcasting and Speech Therapy, both outgrowths of the Speech Department. In 1953, the College created the Samuel D. Robbins Speech Clinic in honor of the Emerson faculty member who started the Speech Department in 1935. That same year, the Broadcasting Department began offering courses in television production, and in 1954 the College built a state-of-the-art television studio. McKinley embarked on several successful fundraising campaigns throughout his term in office, which allowed the College to become financially stable and purchase several buildings. In 1965, Emerson acquired the Deertrees Theatre in Harrison, Maine, which served as a summer theater for Emerson students as well as students from other institutions.
Front facade of building circa 1963 with neoclassical architectural elements. A Volkswagen beetle is parked on the street. Originally built as a home in 1904-1905, this structure at 150 Beacon Street replaced a house that was the residence of Boston arts benefactor, Isabella Stewart Gardner. 150 Beacon was designed by architect Alexander W. Longfellow, Jr., the nephew of the famous poet. In April 1961, Emerson College purchased 150 Beacon Street and converted it into dormitory and dining hall with a library on the upper floor. The college sold 150 Beacon in 1976.
The 1951-52 Debate Council posing for a group photo. Five people are seated and four more stand behind them. Emerson’s Intercollegiate Debate Program was first organized in 1948 and first offered for credit in 1951. From the very beginning, they were recognized as one of the outstanding teams in the New England area, and their reputation continues today as the Emerson Forensics Team.
Actors on stage among forest scenery. Alice in Wonderland performed by the Emerson College Children’s Theatre group and directed by Imogen Hogle on Oct. 18, 1919 at Huntington Chambers Hall. The nation's first collegiate level program in Children's Theater was established at Emerson College in 1919.
Group photo of 13 smiling students on the set of the TV series, General Hospital. A girl sitting at a desk holds a telephone receiver. In 1986, Emerson College established the semester-long Los Angeles program, offering courses and internship credits to matriculated juniors and seniors.
Two smartly-dressed young men in a room before a large glass window. One sits at a small table. He appears to be reading copy into a single tabletop microphone. The other sits behind a larger desk built around audio equipment. He's got two turntables and a microphone. Two turntables and a microphone. In 1949, the Broadcasting Division received FCC approval for an educational broadcasting license; Emerson’s student-operated radio station WERS went on the air for the first time with 10 watts power.
Smartly-dressed students pose for a group photo with Emerson Professor of Mass Communications, George Quenzel (kneeling, right) and Emerson’s Director of Special Events, Brooks Russell. They are holding up a newspaper headline that reads: “Emerson Students Looking for Jobs in L.A.”. Emerson students made their first organized trip to Los Angeles in 1980, under the leadership of Lenny Riendeau and George Quenzel. Students found it such a rewarding experience that the trip it was repeated the next year. The 1981 trip is pictured here. This four-week long, credit-bearing course, titled Hollywood Seminar: Techniques in Comedy, was held during winter intersession. The 1981 trip included studio tours, tapings, readings and interviews. The itinerary listed the following visits: The Jeffersons, Games People Play, Soap, Happy Days, CBS News, M*A*S*H, Lou Grant, The Merv Griffin Show, Wheel of Fortune, Academy of T.V. Arts & Sciences, Bob Keene (scenic designs and techniques), American Film Institute (AFT), American Music Awards, Archie Bunker’s Place, Mork and Mindy, The Johnny Carson Show, ABC, West Side Waltz, a tour of Disney Land, and a tour of Universal City.
Photographic portrait of President Turbeville sitting in a cushioned arm chair with one arm leaning on a rounded table. Turbeville wears a bold suit jacket with thick vertical stripes, and a necktie with bold geometric shapes. A bookcase and fireplace are on the wall behind him. Gus Turbeville was a graduate of Vanderbilt University and earned his AM degree from Louisiana State University and his PhD in social psychology from Michigan State University. He came to Emerson in the fall of 1975 from Coker College in Hartsville, South Carolina. President Turbeville consolidated various departments into divisions so they would operate more efficiently and effectively. The chairs of these divisions were elected by their departments, a first at Emerson. Turbeville felt a genuine concern for his students and faculty and was well liked by the students. He was able to connect with students on a daily basis because he lived on the 10th floor of the 100 Beacon Street dormitory and often dined in the student dining hall. Turbeville’s short presidency was marked by accomplishment, most notably bringing national visibility to the College through various public events that emphasized and increased its positive image.
Photographic portrait of Emerson’s second president. Rolfe is shown with metal-rim glasses, black suit & bowtie, white hair and a moustache. William James Rolfe was born in 1827 in Massachusetts. He attended Amherst College and Kirkwood Academy in Maryland before becoming an instructor at Day’s Academy in Wrentham, Massachusetts. By the time Rolfe assumed the presidency of Emerson College in 1903, he was 75 years old and was an internationally famous scholar. He worked mainly to advise the students and serve as a role model. According to Henry Lawrence Southwick, Rolfe was the “pioneer in introducing the study of English into the curriculum of American schools.” Rolfe’s greatest accomplishment was his work on the plays of William Shakespeare. In 1904, he published Shakespeare the Boy, a 550-page book on Shakespeare's life.
Photographic portrait of President Zacharis, seated in tall-backed cushioned arm chair with hands in his lap. John Zacharis earned his BS and MS degrees from Emerson College. After receiving his PhD at Indiana University, Zacharis returned to Emerson to teach in the Speech Department. He later took on the roles of dean of academic affairs and senior vice president before assuming the office of president. President Zacharis worked to reunite the Emerson community following the failed bid to move the campus to Lawrence, Massachusetts. His plan included improving Emerson’s facilities by purchasing buildings that would be more appropriate for classrooms, studios, and offices than the Back Bay brownstones. He also made a commitment to academic depth by adding diverse academic programs and highly qualified staff and faculty. In addition to the improvements on the Boston campus, Zacharis opened the European Institute of International Communication in Maastricht, The Netherlands in the fall of 1991. Unfortunately, President Zacharis was stricken with leukemia early in his presidency and passed away February 20, 1992.
Exterior view of the brownstone Ames Mansion. Emerson College occupied this property between 1984 and 1995. The Oliver Ames Mansion at 355 Comm. Ave. was designed by architect Carl Fehmer and built in 1882-1883 for Oliver Ames and his wife Anna Coffin Ames. It was the first of the Boston chateaux, large houses inspired by 16th century chateaux of the Loire Valley. Oliver Ames, an investor in railroads, banks and manufacturing companies, would become Governor of Massachusetts in 1886-1887 while living at this address. The building remained in the Ames family until 1926 when it was purchased and converted into a showroom for the National Casket Company. It was later used for office and retail space.
Historical photo of the Majestic theater with sign that reads: "Emerson College: Theatre soon." The Majestic Theatre first opened its doors in 1903. The building was designed by John Galen Howard and the interior shows off gloriously ornate Beaux-Arts architectural style. In 1955, the theater was sold to Sack Cinemas and served as the Saxon movie theater for nearly 30 years. You can still see the old Saxon vertical sign in this photo. By the time it was purchased by Emerson College in 1983, the theater had fallen into considerable disrepair. Emerson spent 20 years restoring the Majestic to its former glory and reopened the Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College in May 2003.
Photographic portrait of Godfrey Dewey. Dewey wears wire-rim glasses, a three-piece suit, and a serious expression. In the photo, shadows cross Dewey’s face and upper body in horizontal lines, possibly from sun through window blinds. When Emerson president Boylston Green resigned in 1949, Godfrey Dewey (pictured) served as Acting President until February, 1951. Dewey was an educator and spelling reformer, and the founder and first president the Phonetic Spelling Council. He was a skier who designed ski jumps and was largely responsible for the successful bid to hold the 1932 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York. He was the son of Melvil Dewey, the founder of the Dewey decimal system. Info source: Expression Magazine of Emerson College; Godfrey Dewey Papers (Columbia University Archives).
Four young people in discussion are seated around a small low table playing a game. Two wear baseball caps. There are iMac computers in the background. The Engagement Lab is an applied research lab at Emerson College focusing on the development and study of games, technology, and new media to enhance civic life.
2010 - 2015
Two men and an award. In 1962, WERS won the UPI Tom Phillips Award for outstanding achievement in broadcasting, becoming the first college operated radio station to achieve this honor. Emerson student-produced segments would win this award for the next four years.
A formal photographic portrait of Boylston Green in an armchair, with the caption “President Green.” He wears a pinstriped suite, his hair is neatly combed and sits with fingers laced. Unlike his predecessors Emerson, Rolfe, Southwick and Ross, Boylston Green had no prior association with the College. Green received his AB and AM degrees from the University of South Carolina and his PhD in English from Yale University. He came to Emerson College from Middlebury College in Vermont and was the first president to have a doctoral degree. President Green established a Student Activities Committee, which aided in the creation of the student newspaper, The Berkeley Beacon, and WECB, the first college radio station. Shortly after the creation of WECB, a new radio station, WERS, received the first educational broadcasting license on the East Coast in 1949. After three years as president, Boylston Green left Emerson to become vice chancellor of the University of the South.
Exterior front view of the building. A sign above the entry reads “Hotel Ericson.” Two small barren trees on the sidewalk frame the building. The flagpole is empty. The front end of an automobile is visible, parked on the street. In 1927, Emerson College of Oratory purchased its first piece of real estate at 373 Commonwealth Ave. It would be known as Emerson College Residence. For Emerson students, the new address replaced five rented dormitory buildings. The six-story stone and brick building stood directly across the street from the Harvard Club. It would remain a dormitory building for Emerson women from 1928 through 1960. Info source: Century of Eloquence ; BAC Catalogue; Gillach Group; BackBayHouses.org.
Photo by Karen Couture.
Photo by Karen Couture.
David Wong Louie gives a reading from his book during the John C. Zacharis First Book Award presentation at the First and Second Church, Boston on December 4, 1991. Sponsored by Emerson College, Ploughshares, and the Writing Department. Photo by Karen Couture. David Wong Louie became the first recipient of the Zacharis Book Award for his collection of short stories, Pangs of Love. The annual award was created by Ploughshares literary magazine to honor an outstanding debut book of short fiction or poetry.
Photo by Karen Couture.
Nine women, identically dressed, play volleyball in a room with wall sconces in dangerous proximity to the "playing field." 1931 saw the birth of Emerson's recreation club, created to encourage athletic activities such as hiking and roller skating. The club launched Emerson's first intramural sports program with volleyball, rigging a net inside Huntington Hall.
Emerson's Debate Council: Gertrude Hubbard '56, Vincent Bevilacqua '57, John Pietromonaco '58, Haig Marderosian '54, Otilio Gorospe, Jr., pose with their trophy from a 1955 debate tournament.
President-Elect Lee Pelton, Emerson College President Jacqueline Liebergott, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Peter Meade stand for a photo in front of a red brick wall. On September 8, 2010 the board of trustees announced that M. Lee Pelton would be the 12th President of Emerson College.
In 1985, Emerson opened its European Center, based out of Kasteel Well in the Netherlands. The first group of students arrived in September. "The castle," as it is common called among the Emerson community, remains a popular option for study abroad.
A grainy group photo of mostly women. The photo caption provides only last names. First row: Stern, Schwartz, Saftel, Greenbaum, Levitan, Sossner, Karas, Eisenberg; Second row: Waldman, Peter, Kessler, Coplan, Rossman, Simmons; Third row: Markoff, Rosenstadt, Grossman, Silverman, Bronstein, Hoffman, Chalice, Bornstein. The Menorah Society became Hillel in 1946. Emerson Hillel, the college's union of Jewish students, continues to thrive today as a home for Jewish campus life with the support of Hillel Council of New England.
Emerson trustee Helen Rose stands on a grand staircase wearing a polka dot dress. In 1994, the Cecil and Helen Rose Ethics in Communication Scholarship was established through a $300,000 contribution. It is the first endowed full-tuition scholarship in Emerson's history. Helen Rose was an Emerson graduate and trustee, an advocate for the deaf, and a dedicated friend to Emerson College. Photo by Karen Couture.
Photo by Karen Couture.
More than a dozen actors in costume lined up at the edge of stage. A woman in the foreground clasps her hands in front of her chest. One man in a suit jacket is on his knees in the middle of the troupe. The Emerson Majestic (not the Cutler Majestic) celebrated its grand re-opening with a Musical Theater Society production of George M!.
Coach Phil McElroy and the Lions softball players jump for joy on the field upon making the 2007 NCAA Tournament. The 2007 women's softball team won all four games in the GNAC championship earning them a spot in the NCAA tournament and making them the first Emerson team to ever play in a national championship.
Photo by Karen Couture.
Young man in a construction helmet leans through a hole in a wall. A sticker on the wall reads, "WERS 88.9," and handwritten above that is, "The New Home of." In 1998, WERS relocated from 180 Beacon Street to the Ansin building at 180 Tremont St., where it remains today (2015). It would be the first Emerson building project completely funded by gifts. At the time, WERS was Boston's only radio station with street-level windowed studios.
Photo by Karen Couture.
Emerson College President, Jackie Liebergott stands with Dr. Shoo Iwasaki. Between them stands a poster board on an easel showing a photo of the Iwasaki Library beyond open glass doors. On October 10, 2007, the former Abbot Memorial Library was renamed the Iwasaki Library for environmentalist and benefactor Dr. Shoo Iwasaki.
Computer generated architect's rendering of a modernist building. In the foreground, a red car races past on the street. In 2008, Emerson purchased property in Los Angeles and selected architect Thom Mayne of Morphosis Architects to build the Los Angeles Center which would become the administrative center of the LA campus.
Formal photographic portrait of a young Japanese woman, Iku Saegusa, presented in an oval mat. Iku Saegusa, from Tokyo, Japan, was the first international student at Emerson College.
Denis Leary with two unidentified women. Leary stands with arms crossed gazing down at papers held by one of the seated women. Comedian Denis Leary '79 is one of the founders of the Emerson Comedy Workshop, which is sponsored by the Writing Department. During the 1970s, co-curriculars developed as important training grounds for Emerson's future comedy greats, including Eddie Brill, Denis Leary, Jay Leno and Steve Wright.
From the John C. Zacharis First Book Award ceremony on Dec. 4, 1991, Emerson College president John Zacharis stands for a photo with members of the award committee. The annual John C. Zacharis First Book Award honors an outstanding debut book of short fiction or poetry. The author David Wong Louise (not pictured) was first to receive the award for his collections of short stories, Pangs of Love.
Ten actors lined up on stage in flamboyant costume. Four wear masks. A man holding a top hat speaking or singing. Emerson College brought "Lady in the Dark" to the stage for the school's first Annual Spring Musical in 1954. Music by Kurt Weill, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, and book by Moss Hart. In the same year, NBC broadcast their Max Liebman Presents production of "Lady in the Dark" as a live television special.
The Paramount theater's vertical sign and marquee are brightly lit on the art deco building. On the building to the right of the theater, color lights behind arched windows form an image of the American flag. In 2010, the Paramount Theatre re-opened for the first time in 34 years. Built in 1932, the Paramount Theatre was a one of Boston's great movie palaces. It closed in 1976, and was designated a Boston landmark in 1984. Emerson acquired the Paramount in 2005 and hired Elkus Manfredi Architects to restore and re-imagine this historic art deco gem. It reopened in 2010 as the Paramount Center, which contains the main theatre as well as a black box theater, film screening room, rehearsal studios, practice rooms, sound stage, scene shop, classrooms and offices for faculty and staff. ArtsEmerson programed film, theatre and film events at the Paramount, contributing to the city’s rich cultural offerings.
A formal photographic portrait of Harry Seymour Ross. Harry Seymour Ross was born in East Haddam, Connecticut, in 1868 and attended Oberlin College before transferring to and completing his degree at Emerson College of Oratory. After graduation, he was hired by Worcester Academy as an instructor in elocution, English, and history. In 1908, President Southwick chose Ross to become the academic dean at Emerson, and they spent the next 24 years working closely together. Immediately following the death of President Southwick, Ross was elected acting president for the remainder of the 1932–33 academic year. Despite the Depression, President Ross was able to purchase 130 Beacon Street for classroom and administrative offices, and the property became the flagship building of Emerson’s Back Bay campus. With the decline of Chautauqua circuits, courses and degrees related to oratory fell out of favor. To keep the College curriculum relevant, Ross expanded it beyond oratory and dramatic arts to include courses in radio broadcasting and speech pathology, while strengthening the liberal arts curriculum by adding history, modern languages, philosophy, and religion courses. In 1937, the College awarded its first Bachelor of Arts degree, and by 1939, “of Oratory” was dropped from the College’s name. Ross created the College’s first theater in the Carriage House, located behind 128 and 130 Beacon Street. He resigned in May 1945, citing age and poor health.
1932 - 1945
A view through the window from inside control room. Two men are in the control room and four are in the live room. Motorola equipment and a grand piano are pictured. Photo imprint reads: "c1955, Arber-French & Co., Boston, Mass." WERS-TV presented the station's first closed circuit television (CCTV) program in 1955.
Black and white photo of front facade of 96 Beacon Street with students on the front stoop. An American flag hangs above the entrance. Built in 1849, the building at 96 Beacon Street served as Emerson's student union from 1964 until 2006 and was used for small gatherings, rehearsals and other events. Info source: Berkeley Beacon (4/6/2006); Boston Business Journal (4/2/2014).
1960 - 1970
View of the Public Garden and the eastern end of Beacon Street through an upper floor window within the residence hall at 100 Beacon Street. In 1960, Emerson College sold 373 Commonwealth Avenue and acquired 100 Beacon Street. Emerson remodeled the c1924 building and converted it into a dormitory. It continued to be an Emerson College dormitory until 2006. Info source: http://backbayhouses.org/100-beacon/.
1960s - 1970s? circa
180 Tremont Street, an art deco style high-rise building, rising behind pink and white flowering trees on the edge of Boston Common. 180 Tremont was purchased by Emerson College in 1992 during John Zacharis presidency, laying the groundwork for Emerson's move from Boston's Back Bay to the Theatre District. Six years later, it was renamed the Ansin Building in honor of Sydney and Sophie Ansin, the parents of Edmund Ansin, who donated $1 million to the college. The Ansin building is home to Emerson's Visual & Media Arts (VMA) labs and facilities, offices for VMA and Writing, Literature & Publishing (WLP) departments, and WERS, WECB, and ETIN. It also contains the Tufte and 3D computer labs, Digital Production labs, and the Media Services center.
1992 - 2001
Corner view of the building shows four oblong towers atop a common first floor. The top of each tower has decorative architectural ornamentation. Purple and yellow Emerson College banners hang from the middle floors. The roof of the Boylston Street MBTA station entrance is visible in the lower right corner. In 1994, Emerson purchased and renovated the Little Building, a 12-story commercial structure at 80 Boylston Street, next to the Emerson Majestic Theatre and across the street from 180 Tremont Street. It serves as a residence hall with other college facilities and commercial space at street level. At the time of this photo, there was a 150-seat Cabaret theater in the lower level. The Little Building is an example of modern gothic skyscraper architecture. It was built in 1917 as office building with shopping arcade and named for Boston businessman and philanthropist, John Mason Little. It was designed by prominent Boston architect Clarence Blackall, who designed as many as fifteen theaters in the Boston area, including the Colonial and Wilbur theaters. Known as the “City Under One Roof,” the Little Building was the “first apartment house in any city along the Atlantic seaboard of the United States,” according to architectural historian Walter Muir Whitehill. The Little Building underwent its second major renovation by Emerson College between 2017 and 2019.
Interior of the timber-framed carriage house, set up with rows of folding chairs, stage lighting and tapestries. View of the main house from the stage. The college's very first theater, dubbed the Emerson College Theater, opened in 1936 in a repurposed carriage house behind the 128-130 Beacon Street buildings of the Back Bay. Info source: “Carriage House, 1936,” ECHO: Emerson College History Online, accessed July 27, 2016, http://emersonhistory.omeka.net/items/show/229.
Student on the front steps of 130 Beacon. Property signage displays the new name, "Emerson College, established 1880," as well as directional signage pointing the way to "FM station WERS" and "Drama workshop in rear." Originally built as private residences, 130 Beacon was part of a group of Back Bay buildings held by Emerson College. The college purchased 130 Beacon in 1933 to house administrative offices and classrooms. It became the flagship building of Emerson's Back Bay campus and over the years would also served as the base for The Emerson Review, The Berkeley Beacon and EIV, as well as the college library and a television studio. President Ross created the college's first theater in the Carriage House, located behind 128 and 130 Beacon. In 1939, the name of the institution was shortened from Emerson College of Oratory to Emerson College to coincide with expanded course offerings. 130 Beacon was a popular student hangout known as the Wall. Upon learning that Emerson was selling all of the college’s west side properties and relocating to complete the vision of the "Campus on the Common," Emerson students, staff, and faculty lamented the loss of the Beacon Street buildings for their character which lent itself to a unique sense of community. "I guess if you ask anyone from Emerson from the Beacon Street era, they would say The Wall was one of the best things about Emerson. It was like our Facebook. Behind The Wall was a huge sheet stretched between posts. All the events and news were posted daily. It was the central gathering point for campus life." - Barbara Ruthberg, BS '68. Info sources: Berkeley Beacon (10/19/2005); Emerson.edu webpages: Past-presidents, Editorial style guide, Memories of the Library; online video: "Pete Chvany reminisces at the wall.”.
1950 - 1959
Lower level photo of the Tufte Center entrance on Boylston Place. People are shown exiting the building. A sandwich board sign next to a street lantern reads “TUFTE” with an arrow. Purple and gold Emerson banners hang from the 2nd floor. Buildings across the alley can be seen reflected in the glass windows. In 2003, the Tufte Production and Performance (PPC) building became the first purpose built structure created and built for Emerson College. It is named in honor of Emerson College trustee Marillyn Zacharis' parents, Norman I. and Mary E. Tufte. The state-of-the-art building was designed by Elkus/Manfredi architects and constructed by the Lee Kennedy Co., at the same time Emerson undertook the restoration of the historic Cutler Majestic Theatre next door. Info sources: Elkus-Manfredi; Emerson.edu; Lee Kennedy website; Emporis; Imagine magazine..
Photographic portrait of Charles Wesley Emerson wearing a coat with a large furry collar. Charles Wesley Emerson was born in 1837 and raised in Vermont. He began preaching at age 19 at the Congregationalist Church in West Halifax, Vermont, and continued to preach at the Unitarian Church in Chelsea, Massachusetts, while attending the school of oratory at Boston University. Although he carried the title of “Dr.,” Emerson did not earn a doctoral degree, but earned several honorary degrees that provided him with the title. Emerson founded the Boston Conservatory of Elocution, Oratory, and Dramatic Art in 1880 with 10 students at 13 Pemberton Square. Emerson’s school opened one year after Boston University’s school of oratory closed, following the death of Lewis B. Monroe, Emerson’s mentor and former professor. The college’s curriculum was rooted in the theories and writings of Delsarte and Swedenborg, which Emerson studied under Professor Monroe. In 1881, Emerson changed the name of the school to the Monroe Conservatory of Oratory; the school was renamed the Emerson College of Oratory in 1891 after several students and alumni demanded the name be changed to honor its founder. By 1902, Dr. Emerson was in ill health and officially resigned his position as president of the College by the end of the year.
1880 - 1908
Exterior of Charlesgate Hall with turret-like architectural features; South side from Marlborough Street. Emerson students were housed at Charlesgate Hall in the 1980s and early 1990s. The building was originally opened in the late 19th century as the Charlesgate Hotel, designed by architect J. Pickering Putnam as the centerpiece of Kenmore Square. The luxury hotel was a premiere location during Boston's gilded age. The building consists of three addresses: Four Charlesgate East, 535 Beacon Street, and Ten Charlesgate East. Emerson College purchased the building from Boston University in 1981 and sold it in 1995 when Emerson dorms were moved to the Little Building. Numerous student reports of supernatural activity over the years have given Charlesgate a reputation as one of the most haunted locations in Boston.
M. Lee Pelton receives the presidential medallion at his inauguration as the 12th President of Emerson College at the Cutler Majestic Theatre on Sept. 14, 2012. Ted Cutler and Jeff Greenhawt are pictured among the group of people on stage. Info source: Emerson College Today (7/21/2014).
Front facade of 216 Tremont Street, Boston. The inscription above the entrance reads: "Union Savings Bank Building" with the dates 1865 and 1927. Purple and gold Emerson College banners hang near the middle floors. The former Union Bank building at 216 Tremont Street is a multipurpose building that houses: the Bill Bordy Theater and Auditorium on the ground floor, used for lectures, performances, performance classes and special events; the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, its clinic for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children, and the Communication Sciences and Disorders Lab (CSD); the offices of the Registrar, Student Financial Services, Health Services, Career Services, the Counseling Center and the International Student Center.
Photographic portrait of Jacqueline Weis Liebergott. The president sits in a cushioned armchair in front of a wood paneled fireplace. Jacqueline Weis Liebergott earned her BA degrees from the University of Maryland and her MS and PhD degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. She came to Emerson in 1970 as an assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders. In 1984, she was named dean of graduate studies and shortly thereafter became a vice president and academic dean. She became acting president in 1992 after the death of President Zacharis and was inaugurated in 1993. During her tenure, President Liebergott worked tirelessly to secure nine new buildings to create a new Boston campus. In 2008, the College purchased land in Los Angeles to build a new center, which will serve as a permanent base for Emerson’s Los Angeles program. Liebergott reorganized the academic departments and established a School of the Arts, a School of Communication, and an Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies. She doubled the size of the faculty and increased student enrollment, while also improving the College’s financial standing. During her tenure, the graduation rate increased by 28 percent. In 2003, the College completed a full restoration of the Majestic Theatre and in 2010 reopened the Paramount Theatre as a live performance venue. The restoration of these two theaters culminated in the creation of ArtsEmerson, which showcases first-class performances of theater, film, and music from all over the world. Liebergott revitalized the Athletics Department by building Emerson’s first gymnasium in the Piano Row residence hall in 2006 and partnering with the City of Boston to refurbish Rotch Playground.
Seated, Dorothy Morris; standing, left to right, Belle Sylvester and Ruth Campbell. Under the leadership of Dean Harry S. Ross, the first Emerson course in radio broadcasting was offered by Arthur F. Edes, program director at WEEI, Boston (1932). Info source: www.emerson.edu (Iwasaki library: A short history of Emerson College).
1930 - 1949
Brick and steel entrance to Kasteel Well. In 1988, Emerson purchased Kasteel Well, a restored 14th century medieval castle located a small village in The Netherlands. Students participating in the program reside and take classes at castle. Courses have a strong European focus, and the program includes excursions to major cities of Europe.
The second EVVYs ceremony, held in 1983. A man and woman stand behind a modern white podium, smiling and applauding. The very first EVVY awards were held in 1982. The EVVYs were created to recognize student achievement in television and video. Decades later, this annual awards program has evolved into the largest student award show in the nation, showcasing the work of Emerson students in nearly every area of study offered at the college. Info source: NewEnglandFilm.com.
Emerson College president Richard Chapin stands alongside five African-American students at a press conference. EBONI’s leader, Mooneyne Jackson-Amis appears to be speaking in this photo. A tabletop podium with microphone is in the foreground. Pictured left-to-right President Richard Chapin; unknown ; Mooneyne Jackson-Amis ; Pearlis Jones; unknown ; unknown. The student group EBONI (Emerson's Black Organization with Natural Interests) was formed in 1969. Led by Emerson senior, Mooneyne Jackson-Amis, the group presented a list of ten demands (originally framed as "proposals") to President Chapin. Tensions rose among students, faculty, and administrators until most of the demands were met. Some of the changes included adding courses on African-American history and culture to the curriculum, hiring African-American counselors and recruiters, increasing the number of African-American students, and offering soul food twice a month in the dining hall. Info sources: A Century of Eloquence; Berkeley Beacon (1/22/2015).
Two stacked photos of The Paramount Theatre's main house, before and after renovation. The land on which the Paramount stands has a history of earlier performance spaces dating back to 1836. Former spaces include the Melodeon, Gaiety, and Bijou. The Paramount Theatre first opened its doors on February 25, 1932 as one of the premiere art deco movie palaces built by Paramount Studios, but it closed in 1976 and fell into disrepair. Emerson purchased the building in 2005. Architects from the firm Elkus Manfredi worked with Evergreene Architectural Arts to replicate the paint and decorative motifs throughout the theatre and restore it to its original appearance. Emerson College reopened the Paramount Theatre to the public in March 2010. Today, the Paramount Center includes the adjoining "arcade" building providing theater space, film screening room, rehearsal rooms, classrooms, and a dormitory. Info sources: Boston Globe (3/3/2010); ArtsEmerson.org; Emerson.edu (Paramount Mainstage).
2000 - 2015
Samuel Robbins, standing, holds what may be anatomical model of the larynx, observed by four students closely seated in a semi-circle. In 1935, Emerson College sponsored the first professional training program in Speech Pathology in the United States. Info sources: A century of eloquence; Duchan, J. (2011, May 12); Sies & Schwimmer: Today's Speech.
Pictured L-R: Emerson president John Zacharis, Ploughshares editor-in-chief Ladette Randolph, and Ploughshares co-founder DeWitt Henry. Ploughshares literary magazine created the John C. Zacharis Book Award to honor an outstanding debut book of short fiction or poetry. The first Zacharis award went to David Wong Louie (not pictured) in 1991 for his collection of short stories, Pangs of Love.
An adult's attention is focused on a young child's ear. Another child and adult are present in the background. The Thayer Lindsley Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants and Toddlers is a program within the Robbins Center that provides group and individual services to young children and their families. The program began in 1965 as the Thayer-Lindsley Parent Centered Nursery for Hearing Impaired Children. Info source: Emerson College Today (7/21/2014).
Exterior view of 6 Arlington St. (0 Marlborough St.), shot from Public Garden with a food truck parked out front. Constructed in 1930, Zero Marlborough is an historic art deco building that served as a dormitory and dining hall for Emerson College from 1988 to 2006. It also contained large dance hall.
Aerial view shows the soccer/lacrosse field surrounded by brick buildings. To the north, the Prudential (The Pru) and Hancock towers rise up in the distance. Emerson's soccer and lacrosse teams compete on the Field at Rotch Playground in Boston's South End. The field also has a softball diamond used for practice and games. Info source: www.emersonlions.com.
Three actors on stage - one male in a crouched position, one female seated and one male standing. All are looking to the side. A guitar hangs in the background.
Lead character, Spenser, lived in Boston and location shooting for Spenser for Hire was filmed mostly in the city of Boston.
Two actors on a winding boardwalk. One holds something dangling from a string, the other is seated cross-legged.
Betty Hutton is pictured with Emerson alum, professor & trustee Kenneth Crannell. In 1985, Betty Hutton received an Award of Achievement from the Musical Theater Society of Emerson College for her contributions to musical theater. Other recipients of this award include: Eve Arden, Gregory Hines and Ben Vereen. Hutton (known for Annie Get Your Gun) taught drama at Salve Regina and comedic acting at Emerson College. Location: Fireplace Theatre.