Raleigh James Burk

2020 Ignatian Award

Raleigh James Burk

Raleigh James Burk is the recipient of the 2020 Ignatian Award. Burk, who is earning a dual degree in screenwriting and business management, plans to pursue a career in Los Angeles' film and television industry as a comedy writer or a story development executive at a production company.

The Ignatian Award is a tradition shared by many Jesuit educational institutions. LMU's Ignatian Award is given annually to the male Presidential Citation awardee who has been selected by a committee of faculty and administrators for selfless service, ethical leadership, and academic excellence.

Burk joined the Crimson Circle in his first year and has served as the organization's president. He says, "It has easily been one of the most formative experiences while at LMU. To be a Crimson is to be a 'man for and with others,' and this is something that I will continue to strive for long after my time at LMU is over." Burk adds that he is "most proud of the work I have been able to do with the children of Al Wooten Jr Youth Center and Urban Compass," after-school programs where he volunteered over the past four years through Crimson Circle. "I can honestly say that the children and staff at these placements have become my close friends."

Burk says that LMU has provided amazing opportunities to further his education while learning what it means to become an engaged global citizen. He studied international film during a summer in Italy and attended the world's largest film-restoration festival in Bologna. He was also a Lingdao Fellow and traveled to China, where he was among student leaders who learned about the country's rich history and engaged in dialogue around global business and leadership.

In addition to his service work, Burk had to take an additional 30 upper-division units to earn both the screenwriting Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Business Administration. Always strong in mathematics and analytical thinking, one of Burk's greatest passions is comedic storytelling, tracing these talents to his mother, "a wonderful writer," and his father's sense of humor. He said he expects his dual major should serve him well as he navigates the creative and business sides of the entertainment business.

To his fellow graduates, Burk says: "Nothing could ever diminish the times we've shared, memories we've made, and friendships we've built, but now is the time for us to move forward and create the lives we want to live."