Changing faces: David Gustave

7th April 2016

News, Student news, Alumni news

Educational motivator and founder of creative strategy firm Reluctantly Brave, alumnus Dawood Gustave (Modern History, 1999) is the subject of a stunning new portrait in the Lee Shau Kee Seminar Room.

The portrait, by photographer Sophia Spring, is one of a series of images goiong up around College. The sitters have been chosen following nominations from staff, students and alumni, as inspirational members of the Wadham community. 

Dawood (David) grew up in ‘Pecknam’ South London in social housing, the son of immigrants. Having bounced from school to international modelling to menial work back in London, he returned to education at 31, gaining a place at Wadham at the age of 34 to read History.

Before founding Reluctantly Brave, he spent eight years at street level inspiring (and being inspired by) young people from the streets he grew up on to think about University and beyond.  Alongside this work, he spoke to many major corporates about learning he gained in performing this work and used this knowledge to advise them on issues they faced.

Reluctantly Brave is a creative strategy firm which helps promote innovation, build brands and develop individuals and companies within a framework of compassionate capitalism and social responsibility. Dawood has consulted for leading brands such as Morgan Stanley, Anglo American and Balfour Beatty.

Warden Ken Macdonald QC is spearheading this project to showcase a more balanced selection of images of Wadham’s alumni and fellows: “I wanted to address the predominance in Hall and around College of portraits of white men. The Wadham community is a diverse and inclusive one and, until now, this has not been reflected by the portraits which adorn its walls. Over the coming months we hope to go some way to provide our students with inspirational images which reflect today’s Wadham community.”

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