Growing up in western Pennsylvania, a successful future wasn't a sure thing for Jim Burger '82. "There were very few prospects where I grew up," he explained. "Sometimes I shudder to think how close I came to becoming a coal miner, or working behind my father's bar. Fortunately, back then ‘the Institute' would take a chance on a kid like me. I enrolled, was accepted, and I thrived there."
Jim and his wife, Anne, recently became members of the Mt. Royal Society by announcing a planned gift to the College. "When my wife and I did our wills, I thought about it a lot," Jim said. "We don't have children, but even if we did I would still want to leave something to the Maryland Institute." Anne added, "We're really huge boosters of Baltimore City, and I think the Maryland Institute is important to the city. Jim remains very involved, and we get back to campus several times a year. I think it's a great institution." "It's no secret that I feel the Maryland Institute made me," says Jim of the successful career as a professional photographer that spans more than 25 years, 10 of which were with the Baltimore Sun. His clients include AAR P, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the Lou Gehrig's Disease Association, and his alma mater. His photos have appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Francisco Examiner, and the Los Angeles Times.
"I'm now a freelance photographer. I only work for nice people, and I can honestly say I love what I do for a living. So I ask myself, or anyone else who will listen: Who do I owe for all that I have if not the Maryland Institute College of Art? I've led a charmed life and they were a big part of it. That's why I give."