Looking beyond the Fonz

by Beacon Staff • October 11, 2006

Although Henry Winkler's fame is an asset to the college, he is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Emersonian achievement.,When it comes to knowing Emerson College alumni, many students automatically flash a thumbs up and give their best Fonzie impression.

Although Henry Winkler's fame is an asset to the college, he is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Emersonian achievement.

There is an Emerson alumnus running for public office. Yet this has created very little buzz on campus.

When students go to vote Nov. 7, will they even know that Russell Evans graduated from our college?

Evans is running as a Republican for State Representative of the 18th Suffolk District and his leadership in the local community should be celebrated.

He has put forth the effort to remain connected to his alma mater, visiting several Emerson classrooms as a guest speaker this semester.

There may be more glitz and glamour in featuring alumni in arts and entertainment industries, but Emerson is composed of more than just artists of the stage and screen. The student body should be familiar with the college's success in all areas.

Other recent graduates working in the political arena include Kathryn Grosso ('05) and Brad Dye ('06). Grosso works as a staff assistant in the Executive Office of the President in Washington, D.C., and Dye works as a legislative aide in the Massachusetts State House.

Emerson's Web site features the success stories of many alumni. The site currently spotlights 14 Emersonians, only six of whom are in the entertainment industry.

This is less than half of all those being spotlighted, and yet those making it in that particular industry still overshadow alumni in other fields when it comes to student awareness.

Whether intentionally or not, only particular types of success seem to be highlighted by the school.

The lack of the acknowledgment of bipartisan success of Emerson graduates in politics is questionable as well. When searching the key word "Republican" within the "Emersonians in the News" archive, only Democrats appear. Russell Evans, Republican, is nowhere to be found.

With distinguished, politically-minded alumni, perhaps Emerson students need a change in mindset about the range of students and types of success that come from the college.

Success stories of Emerson graduates should be recognized and supported beyond the world of "Happy Days."