Emerson College broke ground on a $110-million, 10-story facility in Los Angeles last March, which is slated to open in January 2014. The Center couldn’t open without a director, however, and the school announced Tuesday an Emmy Award-winning alum will be at the helm.

“Friends” Producer Kevin Bright has been named the Senior Executive Director and Founding Director of the new Los Angeles Center, currently being built on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard. He will step down from the Emerson Board of Trustees to begin production on the Center’s 2014 opening.

“Launching this ambitious endeavor in Los Angeles will be no small task,” said Emerson President Lee Pelton in a press release. “Success will take creativity, collaboration, countless conversations with leaders in the community, the industry and the academy. It will also take boundless energy. In Kevin, we’ve found all of those qualities, and I am very much looking forward to working with him and his team on this new endeavor.”

Bright will be responsible for forming partnerships with industry leaders to create new programs and mentorship opportunities. He will also be cultivating the L.A.-based courses that have already been proposed, as well as developing new ideas based on his knowledge in the industry.

After graduating from Emerson in 1976, Bright went on to produce the Cable ACE Award-winning “The History of White People in America,” as well as FOX’s “In Living Color,” which won him his first Emmy in 1989. Bright also won a Cable ACE Award as the executive producer of “Dream On,” before he went on to direct more than 50 episodes of “Friends.” The hit sitcom received the 2002 Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, along with the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Comedy Series 10 years in a row.

Bright was named an executive artist-in-residence at Emerson in 2006, and has taught various courses on television production, as well as served as the faculty advisor to The EVVY Awards–the country’s largest student-run, multi-camera award show.

Over the years, Bright has continued to serve as a benefactor to Emerson. He helped establish The Bright Family Screening Room in the school’s Paramount Center, which seats 174 and features cutting-edge film and digital video projection equipment.

“Emerson is already influential and well-known in Los Angeles,” said Bright in the release. “The College’s ability to make positive contributions to the industry, to the Hollywood community, and to the city of L.A. will now be limited only by our imaginations. I greatly look forward to helping turn these dreams into reality.”

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