Lily Collins ’07 is an actor, producer, and centerpiece of the global Netflix phenomenon, Emily in Paris. In this episode, Lily joins The Supporting Cast from New York amid a massive press tour, wedged between late night talk show appearances, to speak about the responsibility she carries as both the series lead, and more broadly, as a public figure. To the latter, Lily describes her choice in the 2017 memoir “Unfiltered” to speak about personal challenges in her teenage years—including battling an eating disorder. Lily insists that a principal reason she felt so prepared to share her truth was the confidence, trust, and sense of community she gained from Harvard-Westlake Peer Support. Lily remains close to this day with her HW Peer Support friends, and credits the group’s embrace with her finding such a strong personal and professional community as an adult. Lily references educators Christopher Moore and Jocelyn Medawar of Harvard-Westlake, as well as actors/filmmakers Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, and David Fincher, as profound life mentors.
In the fall of 2017, Harvard-Westlake acquired 17 acres of flat land in Studio City with the aspiration of building a third campus. More than five years later, the project, now known as Harvard-Westlake River Park, is potentially within months of gaining approval with the City of Los Angeles. To help provide insights into this transformational project is Harvard-Westlake CFO and River Park project lead, David Weil ’93. In this episode, David speaks in detail about not only River Park’s unique benefits to the health and well-being of Harvard-Westlake students, but also how the project will impact both the local community and natural environment—including the largest investments in environmental sustainability the school has ever undertaken. As Harvard-Westlake’s Chief Financial Officer, David also speaks about managing a hundred million dollar financial operation, and how the school has managed to increase faculty and staff compensation at a higher rate than tuition for five consecutive years—a feat that should not be financially possible but that David has helped to make so. Lastly, David speaks about his own Harvard, Harvard-Westlake, and Pomona College experiences, and how the lessons of team sports have not only impacted him personally, but also make him the ideal leader for a community-centered athletic and recreational facility like River Park. David references Hans Palmer and Pat Mulcahy of Pomona College, in addition to Rob Levin of Harvard-Westlake, as profound life influences.