Photo Credit: Emerson College Website (Photo by Michelle Kwong '15)

On a seemingly interminable tour to promote the upcoming comedy Anchorman 2, comedian Will Farrell appeared at Emerson College in Boston this week to accept the communication school’s one-day designation of the Ron Burgundy School of Communication. Accepting the award in character, Farrell quipped that he was literally in a glass case of emotion.

So were students and alumni of the college, as well as journalists and other media watchers. Some were amused; others found it distasteful that a well-respected institution like Emerson College would allow itself to be used by a movie studio’s marketing department.

As an Emerson alumnus (WLP B.A., 2003), I fall into the category of people who aren’t upset about Emerson playing a part in the marketing of the movie. Emerson is mentioned several times in each media report about Farrell’s appearance, which builds the school’s brand as well as the buzz for Anchorman 2. A WBUR report featured quotes from professors from Emerson, burnishing the department’s reputation as a thought leader in the media space. Nobody’s blaming Ben and Jerry’s for creating an Anchorman-themed ice cream flavor—they did it because it will sell ice cream. Emerson allowed the marketing machine inside because it will elevate the college’s profile too.

You stay classy, Emerson College.