Alum donates $2.5 million to LA program

by David A. Bumpus / Beacon Staff • March 5, 2015

Emerson alumnus Bill Bordy recently donated $2.5 million to Emerson Los Angeles, the largest donation in the college’s history.

Bordy’s donation, announced on March 3, will support the $20 million fundraising campaign for ELA, called “The Future Has Your Name on It!”, meant to pay off debt from the construction and support current and future academic programs. In the campaign’s first of three scheduled years, it raised $2.8 million, said Patrick Smith, director of development for the LA program, in September.

In honor of Bordy’s donation, ELA’s 250-person assembly room will be renamed the Bill Bordy Media and Conference Center. 

Bordy decided to donate after traveling to Los Angeles, according to Keira McClain, interim vice president of development and alumni relations. She said he wanted to take a tour of the campus and meet with Kevin Bright, the founding director of Emerson Los Angeles.

“I think he just fell in love with the institution and the programs and the opportunities for our students,” McClain said. “He was pretty clear he wanted to support the institution and he did.”

McClain said the school is grateful for Bordy’s contribution.

“There aren’t words to describe it,” McClain said. “I mean, how do you articulate your appreciation for something of that magnitude. It’s transformational and we are profoundly, deeply grateful.”

Bordy has donated to the school multiple times before; the Bill Bordy Theater in the Boston campus was named after him because of a previous gift. He spent his career writing, producing, directing, and performing in motion pictures, television, and stage productions. He founded a weekly theatrical publication called Drama-Logue in 1972, a magazine for actors, entertainers, and behind-the-scenes talent.