Emerson College

Emerson College
Emerson College

The Shield of Emerson College
Motto Bringing Innovation to Communication and the Arts
Established 1880
Type Private
Endowment $49 million[1]
President M. Lee Pelton
Academic staff 176
Undergraduates 3,453
Postgraduates 837
Location Boston, Mass., USA
Campus Urban
Colors Gold and Royal Purple            
Mascot Lion
Affiliations ProArts Consortium, New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Website http://www.emerson.edu/
Emerson College Logo

Emerson College is a private coeducational university located in Boston, Massachusetts. Founded in 1880 by Charles Wesley Emerson as a "school of oratory," Emerson is "the only comprehensive college or university in America dedicated exclusively to communication and the arts in a liberal arts context."[2] Offering over three dozen degree programs in the area of Arts and Communication, the college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. Located in the Boston Theatre District on the edge of the Common, the school also maintains buildings in Los Angeles and the town of Well, The Netherlands.




Charles Wesley Emerson founded the Boston Conservatory of Elocution, Oratory, and Dramatic Art in 1880, a year after Boston University closed its School of Oratory. Classes were held at Pemberton Square in Boston. Ten students enrolled in the conservatory's first class. The following year, the conservatory changed its name to the "Monroe Conservatory of Oratory," in honor of Charles Emerson's teacher at Boston University's School of Oratory, Professor Lewis B. Monroe. In 1890, the name changed again to "Emerson College of Oratory" and was later shortened to Emerson College in 1939.[3]

Early expansion and growth

The college expanded and rented space at 36 Bromfield Street, and moved to Odd Fellows Hall on Berkeley and Tremont Streets in the South End of Boston. With the new location, the college's first library was established in 1892. Henry Southwick, a faculty member and graduate, became a financial partner for the college with Emerson. This financial partnership led to the purchase of the Boston School of Oratory from Moses T. Brown in 1894.

At the turn of the century, faculty members Henry and Jessie Southwick and William H. Kenney purchased the college from Dr. Emerson. Soon after, the college rented a new location in Chickering Hall.

Dr. Emerson retired in 1903 and William J. Rolfe, a Shakespearean scholar and actor, was named the second President of Emerson College of Oratory. His service as president lasted until his retirement in 1908.

As the Student Government Association of the college held its first meeting in 1908, the third president, Henry Lawrence Southwick, of the college was inaugurated. He introduced the study of acting and stagecraft into the college curriculum.

During his tenure, the college rented a new building at 30 Huntington Avenue. The college was also granted the right to award Bachelor of Literary Interpretation (B.L.I.) degrees. In addition, Emerson became the first with a collegiate level program in Children's theater in 1919.[4] The school also held its first course in Journalism in 1924.

The college purchased its first piece of real estate with a new women's dormitory building at 373 Commonwealth Ave. and started intramural sports in 1931 with the organization of volleyball games.

Administrative restructuring

In 1930, full charge and control of the College was transferred to the Board of Trustees by William H. Kenney, Henry Lawrence Southwick, and Jessie Southwick.

When Harry Seymour Ross was appointed the fourth president of Emerson College in 1931, the first course in radio broadcasting was taught by the program director of WEEI, a Boston AM radio station.

The purchase of buildings at 130 Beacon Street and 128 Beacon Street a year later began the presence of Emerson College in Boston's Back Bay. Emerson kept ownership of these buildings until summer 2003.

In the following years, a professional training program in Speech Pathology (1935) and the first undergraduate program in broadcasting and broadcast journalism (1937) were offered for the first time in the United States. Also, construction of a theater behind 128-130 Beacon began, and the institution was granted the right to award degrees of Master of Arts.

Post-war era

In the post-war era, the G.I. Bill of Rights and the Broadcasting curriculum contributed to the rebalancing of the student body from a primarily female population to an equally balanced population of men and women. Boylston Green, the first president to have no prior association with the college, put his background as a dean of students into extracurricular activities, including the establishment of a student activities fee. These efforts led to the first publication of Emerson's student newspaper, The Berkeley Beacon, in 1947. It is still in production today.

Emerson also saw major development in its broadcasting program. A 1-year certificate of Broadcasting was offered via evening classes. The FCC awarded the college a 10 watt license in 1949. WERS, the first educational FM radio station in New England, was born. The station's power was increased to 300 watts three years later, and 18,000 watts by 1953.

At the start of the decade, Emerson College became a member of the New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, an accreditation association for schools and colleges in New England.

President Boylston Green eventually retired, and Godfrey Dewey served as Acting President until 1951. At that time, Jonathon French was appointed as Acting President, and he became President in December of that year, despite never being inaugurated.

Financial crisis of 1952

The college suffered from a severe financial crisis in 1952 and sought $50,000 in emergency funding. At the time, the Chairman of the Corporation stated that without these funds, the college had three alternatives: Go broke, sell out, or join up with another institution. Led by the National Alumni Council, a grassroots campaign was launched to improve the financial situation of the college. The efforts led to the resignation of the Council of Trustees, which was replaced mostly by alumni. The new board elected a former Emerson history professor, S. Justus McKinley, as the 5th President of Emerson College.

Rising from financial trouble

Pulling out of Financial crisis, the college started to develop its programs with new facilities. In 1953, Emerson opened The Robbins Speech and Hearing Clinic at 145 Beacon Street, furthering the Communication Sciences and Disorders program. A television studio was dedicated at 130 Beacon in 1954 with its first closed circuit TV program the following year as WERS-TV. The first annual spring musical Lady in the Dark by Moss Hart was presented.

The school was authorized to grant Bachelors and Masters of Science in Speech, honorary degrees, and Bachelor of Music in conjunction with the Longy School of Music.

Back Bay as Emerson's campus

As the 1960s started, the building at 373 Commonwealth Avenue was sold to purchase a dormitory at 100 Beacon Street to accommodate an enrollment of 609 undergraduate and 29 graduate students. A year later, a building at 150 Beacon Street was obtained for dorms, dining hall, and administrative offices. With major gifts from Elisabeth Abbot Smith and J.F. Buzzard, the Library moved from the fourth floor of 130 Beacon Street into its own building at 303 Berkeley Street. In 1964, two buildings were purchased: 96 Beacon Street, which became the student union building, and 132-134 Beacon Street, which became a dormitory. The campus remained primarily in Back Bay until the late 1990s.

In 1967, Richard Chapin, former Dean of the Harvard Business School was inaugurated as the seventh president of Emerson College.

Shortly afterward, an academic planning committee approved a new course of study for general education requirements. The first level of this program replaced the college-wide requirements with a two-year interdisciplinary course of study and electives. In order to accommodate this new program, the building at 67-69 Brimmer Street was purchased. The Institute of Interdisplainary Studies was born. A year later (1972), the college gained authorization to grant BFA, and MFA degrees.

Attempted relocation

Though Emerson College has moved to various locations within the city of Boston, the appointment of Allen E. Koenig (the ninth president of Emerson College) almost took the college outside of Boston. As soon as he was inaugurated, Koenig initiated talks with Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts to relocate Emerson and merge the two schools. However, an agreement was never reached and the plan was dropped entirely.

At the start of the 1980s, Koenig made a proposal to the Board of Trustees for a major renovation of the college's facilities. The plan allowed for new performance spaces, classrooms, and faculty offices at Brimmer Street; remodeling the Library and Learning Resources Center at 150 Beacon; remodeling the 303 Berkeley building for the Humanities and Social Sciences Division; a new radio/audio complex at 126 Beacon; and construction of two new television studios behind 130 Beacon.

In 1984, 335 Commonwealth Avenue was purchased for Administration and the Communication Studies department. The college also received the authorization to grant MFA degrees in Creative Writing.

Despite the newly-purchased Commonwealth Avenue buildings, Lawrence, Massachusetts was soon being discussed as a new location for Emerson College, about 44.5 km (27.7 mi) away from Boston. The mayor of Lawrence announced that the necessary land would be taken by eminent domain and sold to Emerson for a token payment of $100. However, the five private landowners disagreed with this arrangement and fought the city in court. Three years later in 1988, Judge John Forte ruled in favor of the City of Lawrence. The river-front site in Lawrence was proposed as the new campus for the College. However, as real estate values in Boston dropped and the costs of constructing a new campus increased, the plans were put on hold and eventually abandoned when Koenig resigned as president in 1989. In 1988, the college bought a building at Zero Marlborough Street (also known as 6 Arlington Street) for dormitories and a dining hall.

In an unrelated move, Kasteel Well in the Netherlands was purchased and became the home of Emerson's overseas program (now called External Programs).


John Zacharis became the tenth president of Emerson College and faced a college fractured by the failed move to Lawrence, Massachusetts. Over the course of two years, he moved to restore unity to the campus by purchasing a building at 180 Tremont Street, now called the Ansin Building. This purchase started a transition from Back Bay to the Boston Theatre District. Sadly, Zacharis went on medical leave in 1992 and died of leukemia shortly after.

During Zacharis's leave, Jacqueline Weis Liebergott was appointed as Acting President and, a year later, inaugurated to become the first female president of the college. Shortly after, she submitted a 10-year master plan to the Boston Redevelopment Authority which involved moving the college to the Theatre District (also known at that time as the Combat Zone).

In the mid-1990s, a planning document of the college's future plans was drafted and public hearings were held. The college also extended health care benefits to domestic partners of gay and lesbian faculty, administration and staff. Under the plan, dental coverage and tuition waivers were also available.

1994 was also the year the college started to go online with a $100,000 gift from Mrs. Mary E. Tufte. Under the contribution, The Tufte Lab was placed on the 4th floor of the Ansin Building and dedicated in Mrs. Tufte's honor. The lab was the catalyst for a telecommunications / fiber optic network installation, which was completed in October 1995.

In addition, the college announced the purchase and restoration of The Little Building (Boston) (1994) across the street from the Ansin Building and next to Emerson's Majestic Theatre. Restoration was completed on the façades of the college's buildings at 126, 128, 130, 132-134, 168 Beacon Street, and 21 Commonwealth Avenue.


In the mid-90s Emerson purchased the Walker Building (Boston) at 120 Boylston. The building currently hosts the school's Department of Television, Radio, Film Production department, Institutional Advancement (Alumni and Development) department and Government and Community Relations department. It also contains the school's library and many of its classrooms.

In 2003 the Tufte Performance Production Center (PPC) at 10 Boylston Place opened. The 11-story steel and glass building houses the Department of Performing Arts and includes two theaters (The Semel Theatre and The Greene Theatre), two television studios, makeup and costume labs, faculty offices and an exhibition area. Also that year the Cutler Majestic Theatre finished renovations and re-opened as one of the mainstages of Emerson Stage productions.

In 2004 it was announced that the buildings at 96, 100 and 132 Beacon had been sold and would be vacated by the Fall, 2006 semester.

Construction of a new 14-story residence hall at 150 Boylston Street began in March 2004 and was completed in September 2006 in time for the new school year. It is the first entirely new residence hall in Emerson's history. The facility includes residential suites, athletic facilities, offices and meeting rooms for student organizations, informal gathering places for off-campus students, space for small-group rehearsals and performances and dining facilities.

In September 2006 a long running labor dispute between the administrators and faculty union was resolved. The administration limited the union's role in promotion and tenure, and brought department chairs into administrative roles, where they were not covered by the union. In response, the college agreed not to dismantle the union.[5]

In 2005 the school purchased the historic Paramount Theatre (Boston) on Washington Street with the plans to build a new complex at the site. The complex will include a 565-seat main stage theater inside the existing Paramount Theater and a 125-seat black box theater in an adjacent new building. Plans also include a 200-seat film screening room, eight rehearsal studios ranging from 700 to 1,900 square feet (180 m2), six smaller rehearsal spaces, a sound stage for film students, a new scene shop, and a dormitory for 260 students.[6]

On April 3, 2006, a three-ton scaffolding platform on the east side of the 150 Boylston construction project fell to the street below, killing two construction workers and one motorist. The scaffolding was attached to the east side of the building and was in the process of being removed. Investigators found that the construction workers did not properly secure the scaffolding to a crane while dismantling the apparatus, causing the platform to be unstable and resulting in the accident. Construction was stopped for over a week to allow investigators to determine the cause of the accident, but resumed in time to meet the project's August 2006 deadline.[7]

In May 2006, the Campus Center in the Piano Row building was named the Max Mutchnick Campus Center after a major gift from the 1987 graduate and co-creator of Will & Grace. In the same year, the school exercised its purchase option on the Colonial Theatre adjacent to the Little Building, converting the upper floors of the building to a 372-bed dormitory. With the addition of dorm space here and at the Paramount Theatre, the school hopes to accommodate up to 75 percent of its students in on-campus housing by the year 2010.

On December 2, 2009, President Liebergott announced she would step down in June 2011. On September 8, 2010, the college announced she would be succeeded by M. Lee Pelton of Willamette University.[8]

On March 18, 2010, the newly renovated Paramount Center officially opened with Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino illuminating the Paramount's original art deco marquee, which Emerson restored. In addition to the 590-seat Paramount Theatre, The Paramount Center also houses an experimental black box theater, the Bright Family Screening Room, a sound stage, a scene/prop production shop, nine rehearsal studios, six practice rooms, four classrooms, 20 faculty offices, and a student gathering area. A commercial restaurant will be located on the street level.

Presidents of the college [9]

  • Charles Wesley Emerson (1880-1903)
  • William James Rolphe (1903-08)
  • Henry Lawrence Southwick (1908-32)
  • Harry S. Ross (1932-45)
  • Boylston Green (1945-49)
  • Samuel Justus McKinley (1949-67)
  • Richard Chapin (1967-75)
  • Gus Turbeville (1975-77)
  • presidency empty (1977-79)
  • Allen E. Koenig (1979-89)
  • John Zacharis (1989-92)
  • Jacqueline Liebergott (1992-2011)
  • M. Lee Pelton (2011-present)

The Emerson campus today

Emerson College completed its move from Boston's Back Bay neighborhood to the historic Theatre District of Boston, abutting the southeast corner of Boston Common. In addition to the buildings listed below, Emerson College owns and runs the Cutler Majestic Theatre. The College also owns a Kasteel Well* in Holland, the base for its European programs and is constructing a major academic center on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood to house its long-standing Los Angeles programs.

  • Kasteel Well is a national historical monument that provides living accommodations, classrooms, a resource center, and related facilities. Located in southeastern Holland near the German border, Kasteel Well is approximately two hours from Düsseldorf, Amsterdam, and Brussels, and five hours from Paris, Milan, and Madrid.

Non-residence hall buildings

The Ansin Building (180 Tremont Street)

Once owned by the Boston Edison Company, the Ansin Building was purchased by Emerson in 1992. The building stands 14 stories high and contains all Visual & Media Arts (VMA) labs and facilities, offices for all VMA and Writing, Literature & Publishing (WLP) departments, and home of both WERS and WECB. It also contains the Tufte and 3D computer labs, Digital Production labs, and the Media Services center.

Computer Labs: 3D Lab (3DL), Tufte Lab, Writing & Publishing Lab (WPL), XML (Opened Fall 2006)
Production Labs/Facilities: Digital Production Labs 1 & 2 (DPL1, DPL2), Video Editing Lab (VEL), Steenbeck Lab

216 Tremont Street

The former Union Bank building at 216 Tremont Street houses the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and its clinic for hearing-impaired children. Also located here are the offices of the Registrar, Student Financial Services, Health Services, Career Services, the Counseling Center and the International Student Center. The Bill Bordy Theater and Auditorium on the ground floor is used for lectures, performances, performance classes and special events.

Computer Labs: Communication Sciences and Disorders Lab (CSD)

The Walker Building (120 Boylston Street)

Home to classrooms, offices to various non-academic and academic departments, and five computer labs, and the Iwasaki Library. The fifth and sixth floors connect to the Tufte building.

Computer Labs: Advanced Projects Lab (APL), Advanced Teaching Lab (ATL), Communication & Marketing Labs (CML) 1, 2, and Journalism Lab (JRL)
Production Facilities: Newsroom TV Studio, Newsroom Editing Labs
Academic Facilities: Iwasaki Library, Emerson College Archives and Special Collections

During the summer of 2008 the Walker building underwent construction to be completed before fall of 2008 to fill in the light-well that provided natural light to floors 2 through 6 to insert the set of popular NBC television show Will & Grace, donated by Emerson alumnus Max Mutchnick, in the Iwasaki Library. The project also provides new study rooms for students on the other floors.

The Tufte Performance Production Center (10 Boylston Place)

Opened in the fall of 2003, the 11-story building is home to two television studios, two performing art theaters, the Huret and Spector Gallery, set and costume studios, classrooms, and the offices of the Department of Performing Arts. The fifth and sixth floors of the building are connected to the Walker Building.

Computer Labs: CAD Lab
Performance Theaters & Facilities: Semel Theatre, The Kermit and Elinore Greene Theater, The Bobbi Brown and Steven Plofker Design Technology and Makeup Studio
Television Studio & Facilities: Di Bona Television Studio & Control Room, Studio B & Control Room

The Cutler Majestic Theatre

Built originally in 1903, the Majestic Theatre was one of the first in Boston to be pre-wired for electricity, shown by its use of over 4500 light bulbs throughout the building. In the 1920s it converted to vaudeville, straying from its original purpose as an opera house. The 1950s then brought motion pictures to the Majestic, and not long after that the theatre, along with much of the surrounding neighborhood, fell into disrepair. Emerson purchased the theatre in 1983, and began extensive renovations on the building. The theatre is a member of the national League of Historic Theatres.

The theatre is home to 2-3 Emerson Stage productions each year, various speaking events, Family Weekend, Open House, and The EVVY Awards, Emerson's own award show and the largest student-run live television production in the country[citation needed].[10]

The Paramount Center

Opening in 1932 as a movie theatre, seating 1,700 movie-goers, the Paramount Theatre was one of the first movie houses in Boston to play talking motion pictures. In 2005, Emerson College announced plans to renovate the Paramount Theatre, building an entire performing arts facility in and around the theatre. Construction was completed in January 2010.

The project included not only renovating the Paramount Theatre into a 550-seat theater, but building both a new Performance Development Center and a new residence hall for the school. The complex will also feature a 125-seat black box theater, a 200-seat film screening room, eight rehearsal studios ranging from 700 to 1,900 square feet (180 m2), six practice rooms for individuals and small groups, a sound stage for film production classes, a scene shop, several classrooms; a restaurant, and up to a dozen Emerson faculty and staff offices. More information can be found at the Paramount Center website.

The newly renovated Paramount Center was designed by Elkus/Manfredi Architects of Boston and built by Bond Brothers. Construction began in the spring of 2007 and was completed in December 2009.

Residence halls

Piano Row & Max Mutchnick Campus Center (150 Boylston Street)

The newly-constructed building opened in September 2006, replacing residence hall and student union buildings on Beacon and Arlington streets with most offices relocating to the new building. Sited on Boylston St. in the historic Piano Row District, the building is often referred to as "Piano Row."

The residence floors consist of seven suites per floor. Each suite consists of three two-person bedrooms and one shared bathroom and living room for the unit. In addition, each floor has at least one residence assistant's room with either a common room or an additional residence assistant's room every other floor.

Piano Row is also home to the Max Mutchnick Campus Center, sometimes called "The Max," and the Bobbi Brown and Steven Plofker Gymnasium. The former features several conference, meeting, and rehearsal spaces open to all students, offices for Student Life and the Student Government Association, and storage for any student organization that requires it. The Brown Gymnasium has an NCAA regulation-sized basketball court, with several sets of bleachers and a sky box equipped for events, as well as a workout and fitness center for athletes. Also housing new offices for the Athletics Department, it is Emerson College's first-ever indoor athletic facility. The construction of the gym was controversial at the time of its announcement, considering lack of performing space on campus and the lack of enthusiasm around athletics at Emerson. Since then, with growing appreciation for athletics among the student body, and the development of significant new performance and rehearsal space in the Paramount Center (see below), the Brown Gym has become an important campus feature.

The building also features a cafe, which offers several made-to-order food items as well as convenience items, with indoor seating overlooking the Boston Common.

The Little Building (80 Boylston Street)

In addition to housing a number of administrative offices on the ground floor, the Little Building was once an office and residential space before Emerson College purchased the building in 1994 and opened for use in September 1995.

The residence hall houses over 750 students in ten floors of the twelve story building and contains the college's only cafeteria, a 10,000 sq ft (930 m2) fitness center in its basement and The Cabaret, a space in the basement used for performances with a maximum capacity of 150 people.

The housing section of the building comprises singles, doubles, triples, two quads, and suites of between 4 and 6 people made up of various configurations of singles and doubles.

The Little Building was originally built to hold 600 offices, 15 stores, 22 shops, and a Post Office. Built in 1917, it was named after its financier, John Mason Little and was designed by famed architect Clarence Blackall.[11] The building's name is often confused as being an adjective, which leads to a surprise upon discovery that it is one of the larger buildings on campus.

Colonial Building (100 Boylston Street)

Newly renovated in 2009, the upper floors of this 10-story building house 372 students in single and double rooms in three-, four-, five-, or six-person suite-like environments that include a shared bathroom. Residents share common lounges with kitchenettes and a centralized laundry facility.

Paramount Center (555 Washington Street)

Opened in 2010, The Paramount Center is located in the heart of the Boston Theatre district, adjacent to the Boston Opera House and on top of the newly renovated Paramount Theatre, classroom space, a film soundstage, 200 seat screening room, and a black box theatre. The Residence hall has four floors, on the 6th through 9th floors. Each floor has a common room, and a mix of doubles and four or six person suites. All rooms or suites have their own full bathroom, and all floors are coed. The 7th Floor is designated the Film Learning Community floor.

Hollywood Center (Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles)

In 2007, Emerson College announced[12] that it had purchased property in Hollywood on which to build a permanent home to its decades-old Los Angeles program. The international design firm Morphosis,[13] headed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Thom Mayne,[14] has been retained to design a signature building incorporating residential, teaching and administrative spaces. Completion of the project is expected as early as 2012.


Emerson College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. Two schools (School of Communications and School of the Arts) and two departments (Department of Professional Studies and Special Programs and Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies) offer 27 undergraduate programs and 10 graduate degree programs. In 2008, Emerson admitted 37% of applicants, and is ranked 14th in the Universities-Master's (North) category according to U.S. News & World Report. There are currently 3,453 undergraduate and 837 graduate students. Tuition for the 2009-2010 academic year is $29,408 for a full-time undergraduate student; approximately 65% of students receive financial assistance averaging $15,000 in scholarships and grants, low-interest loans and part-time employment.[15][16]

Student life

Student organizations

Emerson College offers a large number of organizations, most of which are highly active and diverse ranging from curriculum based activities to social action organizations. All organizations, (except Greek-lettered organizations and departmental student organizations) are under the control of the Student Government Association and must renew their existence yearly.

The Emerson Channel

The Emerson Channel is Emerson College's award winning television station.[17] The channel was created in 1999 and is run entirely by Emerson College Students. It airs on campus cable channels 3 and 56 as well as online on their website.

The channel currently produces 17 original shows including:[18]

Closing Time Live

  • A thirty minute live late night variety show

Good Morning Emerson (GME)

  • A morning news/talk show

The EVVY Awards

  • The largest multi-camera awards show produced by any college.

Non-Greek Organizations

The Communication, Politics and Law Association at Emerson College (CPLA-Emerson) is the oldest non-partisan student run organization on campus and was founded with the purpose to foster interest and involvement in local, national and global politics and policy. CPLA combines grassroots efforts with young idealism to affect change. Using Emerson’s broad network of political alumni, Emerson students, through CPLA, have and will continue to make an impact in the social and political realms, and develop relationships that will benefit them individually in the future.

The Emersonian
The Emersonian is one of the College's oldest organizations, serving as the permanent annual record of the year's people, places, happenings, and events of Emerson. Staffed by students, the publication process take approximately eighteen months from inception to final production. All majors at Emerson are welcomed to join this organization.

Greek organizations

Emerson College's Greek organizations include:

Alpha Epsilon Phi (ΑΕΦ)
Alpha Epsilon Phi is a national sorority founded in 1909 to promote esteem and sorority fidelity. AEPhi Beta Alpha Chapter is composed of a diverse group of women brought together by their common values of honesty, philanthropy, scholarship, leadership, tradition, pride, fun, sisterhood, and growth. As a social sorority, AEPhi organizes sister and Emerson events, as well as devotes time to local and national philanthropies. The sisters of the Beta Alpha Chapter at Emerson are especially dedicated to the fight against breast cancer—raising thousands to help the cause. As a national sorority AEPhi works with other local chapters and participates in AEPhi’s annual National Convention. Alpha Epsilon Phi provides a lifetime bond of friendship and sisterhood.

Alpha Pi Theta (ΑΠΘ)
Alpha Pi Theta is the oldest (and currently the only) local fraternity at Emerson College. The Brotherhood comprises an eclectic mix of personalities, talents and backgrounds, fostering a strong support system for individuals within the organization to grow and develop. Founded in 1946 by veterans returning to college from World War II, Alpha Pi Theta is based on the principles of Brotherhood, Love and Trust. Through open communication and camaraderie, "Theta" strives to promote by way of example the ideals of compassion, understanding, tolerance and service to one's community. From this model, active members and alumni continually work together in an effort to better each other, Emerson College, and the Boston communities as a whole.

Zeta Phi Eta (ΖΦΗ)
Zeta Phi Eta, established at Emerson College in 1908, is a National Professional Coed Fraternity in the Communication Arts and Sciences. Founded at Northwestern University in 1893, Zeta Phi Eta is the oldest national group of its kind. Since that time, Zeta has bonded together individuals committed to high standards in the communication arts and sciences, while providing opportunities for sharing professional interests through worthwhile activities. The sisters and brothers of Zeta Phi Eta are strongly involved with the campus community, in addition to working with many outside organizations such as the AIDS Action Committee and the American Cancer Society.

Kappa Gamma Chi (ΚΓΧ)
Kappa Gamma Chi is Emerson College's oldest and only professional sorority, dedicated to the promotion of women's advancement in society, as well as community service. The Alpha Chapter of Kappa Gamma Chi was founded at Ohio Wesleyan University in 1890. In 1902, the Gamma Chapter of Kappa was founded at Emerson, along with our brother fraternity, Phi Alpha Tau.

Phi Alpha Tau (ΦΑΤ)
Phi Alpha Tau is the nation's oldest and foremost communicative arts fraternity. Established in 1902 by a group of students dedicated to serving the community, fostering brotherhood, furthering the communicative arts, and promoting the aims and ideals of Emerson College, Phi Alpha Tau is compiled of some of the most active and unique gentlemen on campus. Our events include The Public Conversation, a forum that brings administrative officials together to discuss student concerns, the Joseph E. Connor award, an award presented to an outstanding gentlemen in the world today, and Honorary Brother Inductions of faculty, staff and administration, creating a network of brothers on campus.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon (ΣΑΕ)
Sigma Alpha Epsilon is the largest Fraternity by initiates in the country and the only National Fraternity at Emerson College. Priding themselves on living by their creed, The True Gentlemen, Sigma Alpha Epsilon is an organization which not only strengthens the bonds of brotherhood, but also serves to improve Loyalty, Honor, and Friendship among its members. With distinguished alumni ranging from Presidents, to sports heroes to celebrities, Sigma Alpha Epsilon has a massive network across the country from the past 150 years, and serves as a networking base even after the undergraduate experience is over.

Sigma Pi Theta (ΣΠΘ)
Sigma Pi Theta was founded in 1979 at Emerson College with the help of their brother fraternity, Alpha Pi Theta. It was established as a place where women can find a true support system, as well as an organization to support the women in both the Emerson and local Boston communities. The Sigma sisters encourage the growth of the individual, the sorority, and the Emerson community through workshops and activities held throughout the year. Sigma Pi Theta is dedicated to the principles of sisterhood, trust and love.


The College is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (Division III), the Eastern College Athletic Conference, and Charter member of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. The athletic department supports Lacrosse, Tennis, Baseball, Basketball, Cross country running, Golf, Volleyball and Soccer for all students in addition to Softball for women. The school also has an ice hockey club team and a Quidditch team.[19][20]

Student radio

WECB is the campus student run radio station overseen by a faculty advisor. WECB broadcasts online at its website www.wecb.fm, and on closed-circuit campus television (channel 65).

The origins of WECB date back over 60 years to when Emerson College obtained an army surplus AM transmitter. The station broadcast via carrier current from the basement of the 132-134 Beacon Street dormitory, and grew in success that included legitimate commercials, news programming and a station-owned van.

In 1983-84, WECB was scheduled for demolition without reconstruction, as part of the Mass Communications $1.6M renovation project. Carol Kamerschen, Greg Weremey and Russ Weisenbacher were instrumental in fighting the board of trustees and allowing Greg and Russ to design and build new studios at 126 Beacon St. to replace the former facilities at 130 Beacon St., 4th floor. [1] This status ended with the inauguration in 1998 of a new Emerson facility, the Ansin Building, featuring a full studio suite for the Emerson station of wider general public interest, WERS. WECB was left unhoused. After student concerns were raised, WECB was resurrected in a modest studio within the WERS studio suite.


The college has a well-developed comedy community, including six comedy troupes specializing in various combinations of sketch comedy, improvisation, and short films. The troupes are ECW (Emerson Comedy Workshop), The Girlie Project, Jimmy's Traveling All-Stars, Stroopwafel, SWOMO (Swolen Monkey Showcase), Chocolate Cake City, and This is Pathetic.[21] Several comedy classes, including "Comedy Writing for Television," "Intermediate Creative Writing: Comedy" and "Writing for Stand-Up" are a regular part of the curriculum.[22] In addition, the Emerson Comedy Scholarship is offered each year to one rising senior who has "demonstrated leadership and talent in the writing, performance, or direction of comedy."[23] The college is also home to the American Comedy Archives, established in 2005 to "acquire, preserve and make available primary source material that documents the professional activities of the ground breaking individuals who have written, produced or performed comedy for radio, television, motion pictures or live performance."[24]

Notable Emersonians

  • Emerson College Alumni
  • Faculty (Past and Present)

External links


  1. ^ McLaughlin, Tim (November 30, 2009). "Emerson College finishes well in the black". http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/stories/2009/11/30/story4.html. 
  2. ^ http://www.emerson.edu/about/
  3. ^ http://www.emerson.edu/library/archives/history.cfm
  4. ^ http://www.princetonreview.com/EmersonCollege.aspx
  5. ^ http://www.chroniclecareers.com/article/Labor-Battle-Ends-at-Emerson/8546/
  6. ^ http://www.emerson.edu/emersontoday/index.cfm?action=3&articleID=3596&editionID=338
  7. ^ "Boston scaffolding accident". The Boston Globe. June 22, 2006. http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/scaffolding_collapse/. 
  8. ^ http://www.emerson.edu/news-events/emerson-college-today/m-lee-pelton-named-12th-president-emerson-college
  9. ^ "Presidential History". http://www.emerson.edu/about-emerson/administration/president-elect/past-presidents. 
  10. ^ http://www.evvyawards.org
  11. ^ http://puka.cs.waikato.ac.nz/cgi-bin/cic/library?a=d&d=p626
  12. ^ http://www.e-architect.co.uk/los_angeles/los_angeles_center_emerson_college.html
  13. ^ http://www.morphosis.com/
  14. ^ http://www.greatbuildings.com/architects/Thom_Mayne_-_Morphosis.html
  15. ^ http://www.emerson.edu/about/institutional_profile.cfm
  16. ^ http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/boston-ma/emerson-college-2146
  17. ^ "Welcome to Emerson College from The Emerson Channel". Emerson College. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRS7pgGGzc0. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  18. ^ "Show | The Emerson Channel". The Emerson Channel. http://www.emersonchannel.org/shows. 
  19. ^ http://www.emersonhockey.com
  20. ^ http://www.internationalquidditch.org/teams.html
  21. ^ http://www.emerson.edu/performing_arts/student-organizations.cfm
  22. ^ http://www.emerson.edu/academics/course_catalogs.cfm
  23. ^ http://www.emerson.edu/school_of_arts/opportunities/comedy_scholarship.cfm
  24. ^ http://www.emerson.edu/comedy/

Coordinates: 42°21′07″N 71°03′58″W / 42.351807°N 71.065994°W / 42.351807; -71.065994

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