Academy for Social Purpose in Responsible Entertainment


Peter Samuelson, MA, President


Dr. D. Andy Rice, PhD, ASPIRE Fellow at UCLA


The Academy for Social Purpose in Responsible Entertainment (ASPIRE) partners with universities, community organizations, scholars, and activists to advocate for sustainability and social justice through media-focused teaching and research.  ASPIRE teaches digital media production to undergraduates of all majors to enhance their lifelong capacities to undertake social issue advocacy.

Chris McGurk

Chris McGurk has over 30 years of experience in senior leadership positions at MGM Studios, Cinedigm Digital Cinema, Overture Films, Anchor Bay Entertainment, Universal Studios, Disney Studios, Pepsico and Price Waterhouse. He also has extensive board director experience at six corporations.

Since 2011, McGurk has been Chairman of the Board and CEO of Cinedigm Digital Cinema, a NASDAQ- listed digital studio, entertainment software and digital cinema deployment company. Since 2006, McGurk has been on the Board of Directors for BRE Properties, Inc., a NYSE-listed real estate investment trust and is a member of BRE’s Real Estate Investment and Compensation Committees. From 2006 until 2010, McGurk also served on the Board of Directors and was Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee for DivX Inc.

McGurk also served on the Board of Directors for DIC Entertainment, which he helped take public in 2006. In 2005, McGurk served on the Board of Directors for Inc. LLC, a privately held e-commerce company. Additionally, McGurk was Vice Chairman of the Board for MGM Studios Inc., a NYSE-listed company, from 1999 until 2005.

From 2006 to 2010, McGurk was the CEO of Overture Films, a motion picture studio he founded that financed, produced, acquired, and distributed feature-length films in all media. From 2008 to 2010, McGurk was also the CEO of Anchor Bay Entertainment, the company that distributed Overture's product in home entertainment.

In 2006, prior to assuming his role at Overture Films, McGurk served as Senior Advisor, New Ventures for IDT Entertainment. From 1999 to 2005, McGurk was Vice Chairman of the Board and COO of Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc., acting as the Company’s lead operating executive until MGM was sold.

McGurk came to MGM from Universal Pictures, where he served as President and COO from 1996 to 1999. Prior to his tenure at Universal, McGurk served from 1988 to 1996 at The Walt Disney Studios, first as CFO and then for two years as President of the Company’s Motion Picture Group.

McGurk serves on the Foundation of Motion Picture Pioneers Board of Directors and the American Cinematheque Board of Directors. McGurk has been a long-term member of The Executive Branch Committee of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He also served for several years on the Executive and Corporate Boards of The Motion Picture and Television Fund. McGurk and his wife Jamie have been long-term members of the H.E.L.P. Group’s Circle of Friends. McGurk serves on the Management Board of Syracuse’s University’s Whitman School of Management.

McGurk received a Bachelor of Science degree, summa cum laude, from the Syracuse University School of Management and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.