2017 Alumni Achievement Award

This prestigious recognition from the Alumni Association celebrates alums who have excelled in their respective professions and have contributed to Arizona State University, the ASU Alumni Association and the community.

Mr. Michael R. Burns ‘80 B.S. 
Vice Chairman, Lionsgate Entertainment Corp.

Mr. Michael Burns is being honored at Founders’ Day for his role in building Lionsgate into a multi-billion dollar global content leader. Since becoming vice chairman of Lionsgate in March 2000, he has played an integral role in building the company into a $6 billion operation with a reputation for innovation. He recently helped spearhead Lionsgate’s $4.4 billion acquisition of Starz, the biggest deal in the company’s history, as the studio continues to grow into a diversified global content platform.

Lionsgate’s portfolio of businesses features a film slate that has averaged nearly $2 billion at the box office each of the past four years, driven by the critically acclaimed “La La Land,” which won six Academy Awards®, a record-breaking seven Golden Globes and was nominated for a record-tying 14 Academy Awards®, and the blockbuster Hunger Games and Twilight saga franchises. One of the largest independent television businesses in the world, Lionsgate’s television slate encompasses nearly 90 series on 40 different networks, including the groundbreaking “Orange is the New Black,” the fan favorite “Nashville,” the acclaimed drama “The Royals,” the award-winning dramedy “Casual” and the breakout success “Greenleaf.”

In addition to his leadership of Lionsgate’s corporate management team, Mr. Burns has played a key role in the acquisition, production, and distribution of some of Lionsgate’s most successful films, including the Academy Award®-winning Best Picture “Crash,” the Academy Award®-winning “Monster’s Ball” and the Oscar-nominated “Precious.”
Mr. Burns served for nine years as managing director and head of Prudential Securities’ Los Angeles investment banking office and nine years at Shearson/American Express (now Morgan Stanley) in New York and Los Angeles. He has been featured in major media outlets from CNBC to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and he is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post and Newsmax. He joined the Hasbro Board of Directors in December 2014.

Mr. Burns graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University. As a student he served as the president of Theta Delta Chi fraternity. In 2014, he was a featured speaker in ASU’s “Welcome to Hollywood” class designed for anyone building careers in film, television and new media. He received his M.B.A. from the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA, where he serves on the distinguished Board of Visitors.