Boston Fox25 interviewed President M. Lee Pelton about his path to becoming the first black president of the college for a Black History Month profile series that aired this month.
Boston’s first black police chief William Gross, and Framingham’s first mayor Yvonne Spicer are among the others profiled in this series.
The article chronicled Pelton’s dedication to academia from a young age and his contributions to the Emerson community in Boston and Los Angeles.
Pelton succeed Jacqueline Weis Liebergott in 2011.
Boston Fox25 highlighted Pelton’s two major accomplishments while working as the twelfth president of the college. He pioneered and implemented the Emerson Los Angeles program in 2014, and landed a partnership with Ambassador Theater Group in 2017 to manage the Colonial Theater.
Students have been vocal about diversity issues under Pelton’s tenure, as seen through protests in 2017 and 2015. The overall percentage of black undergraduate students has remained at about three percent since fall 2010, according to the Emerson College Factbook.
“[With diversity,] we’re doing better, but not where I think we should be,” Pelton said in the interview.