James Gustin, President Chicago Alumni Chapter
James was a junior, senior and high-school sophomore at Cobham graduating in 1982. Some of his favourite memories include the mountaineering club with Tom and Merrill, rock climbing adventures with Doc Hadley and Richie Bergman, rugby tournaments with Bannar Martin and swimming in the Mole. ACS allowed James to experience the depth and value of close friends – many that he remains in touch with today. The faculty and rich vision of the ACS culture as a significant taste of a world beyond a tribe, a small town and a suburban neighbourhood. James learned to look beyond the surface and developed a critical way of thinking.
Today James is the cofounder and CEO of FigMedia a full service entertainment and production house in Chicago. FigMedia are practicing and professional artists, DJ’s, photographers and filmmakers.
“By reconnecting with the ACS alumni, it has allowed me to connect with the global community where I grew up.”
- James Gustin
James along with fellow Cobham 1982 alumnus and Chicago Chapter Vice President Tom Stahr, both decided to re-start the British Studies Summer Program Scholarships in Chicago by personally part funding two summertime travel scholarships and they are now calling on other ACSers to join the cause.
“The Chicago scholars we picked to attend this year’s 2020 BSSP reminded me how critical my open and curios mind is to the world I create for myself and how powerful an experience integrating with students of other countries and cultures is for our working world. It’s so cool to share the resources that I have been born into with kids and families that have to work for every ounce of their progress and position. Leveraging my privilege! In funding and supporting a BSSP scholar I get to experience yet another level of growth and learning from a fresh perspective. Their untarnished disciplines and curiosity inspire me to go further and faster in my family, career and leadership opportunities.”
If you, like our team of chapter leaders, would like to help grow British Studies by making a US tax-deductible donation to our scholarship fund please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we will supply all the relevant links and donation options.
“There is something very special, uplifting, joyful about the faces of the kids James and I met and talked to about the program. Their joy at being given the opportunity to go to ACS and participate in the BSSP was obvious as was their hunger to make the most of it. It really is uplifting to think about, and very fulfilling to participate in the process. What a great way to give back!” - Tom Stahr
*Sadly due to COVID 19 the 2020 scholar programme was cancelled. We look forward to bringing future scholars to ACS in 2021.
Image of James (left) and Tom (right), taken in downtown Chicago at Horizons for Youth where they met with prospective British Studies 2020 scholars and their families.