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Many schools retrofit their logos onto buildings, signs and other surfaces around campus. At Thunderbird the entire campus is the logo. Architects who laid out Thunderbird Field 1 in the early 1940s arranged the trees, buildings and roads into the shape of the mythological Native American creature that has represented Thunderbird for more than 70 years. Founders Hall rose at the heart of Thunderbird, while pilots kept their Stearman planes lined up as tail feathers. Pilots displayed the original red and black Thunderbird insignia on their planes from 1940 to 1945.
Thunderbird alumni enjoyed a weekend with skiing, hot springs, food and great company March 14-16, 2014, in Salida, Colorado, a mountain town about three hours southwest of Denver. “Some folks downhill skied, others cross country skied, and yet others went dogsledding,” said Michelle Pujol ’94. “We met up for a dip at Princeton Hot Springs and then dinner in town on Sunday.”
U.S. News & World Report released its “2015 Best Graduate Schools” rankings on March 11, 2014, and Thunderbird moved up to No. 85 overall. The school also ranked No. 2 in the International Business category. “While this is a good showing, we recognize that Thunderbird belongs at the top of the list in International Business — a spot we held for 18 consecutive years,” said Thunderbird President Larry Edward Penley, Ph.D. “Working together as a community, I am confident Thunderbird will reclaim its place at No.
Since starting on March 3, 2014, as Thunderbird’s Director of Alumni Services and Engagement, Michael Seaver ’10 already has provided free career support to more than 25 alumni in Thailand, India, Colombia, Singapore and multiple locations in the United States. Alumni served include at least one graduate from each of the past five decades and multiple degree programs. “I met Michael during my first semester at Thunderbird, as he was my Peer Career Advisor, and I was lucky enough to build a relationship with him since then,” Anisha Patel ’11 said.
A rare Arizona rainstorm threatened to dampen Thunderbird’s Rugby Alumni Weekend on Feb. 28 and March 1, 2014, but the sun appeared minutes before kickoff for the annual game between the students and “Old Boys.” Thunderbird Alumni Rugby Association President Chuck Hamilton ’91 said neither side worried about the weather anyway. “Rain is not an issue,” he said. “It slows everybody down the same.”
Charles “Chuck” Whitcomb ’54 has a mini Thunderbird reunion every time his family gets together . His daughter, Laura Whitcomb ’80, and his son-in-law Terry Healow ’85 (married to Charles Whitcomb’s daughter, Deb) are also Thunderbird graduates. Chuck Whitcomb, 86, serves on the Board of Directors at First Bank of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. Laura Whitcomb, who worked for many years at American Express, is a homemaker and part-time worker at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania. Healow is a federal bankruptcy lawyer in Butte, Montana.
Caption: Charles Whitcomb ’54, center, attends his grandson’s graduation from Montana State University on May 4, 2013, in Bozeman, Montana. Fellow Thunderbirds Laura Whitcomb ’80 and Terry Healow ’85 are also pictured.
International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated annually on March 8. IWD has been marked by the United Nations since 1975 and is traditionally recognized with a message from the UN Secretary-General as well as with statements and events from across the UN system. With Thunderbird’s commitment to developing the next generation of global leaders, providing opportunities and support for global businesswomen is a top priority.
Hong Kong alumni celebrated the arrival of the “year of the horse” on Feb. 19, 2014, at the Happy Valley Racecourse, built in 1845 for British expatriates living on the island. “Hong Kong has a long tradition of horse racing,” Hong Kong alumni chapter leader and Thunderbird Trustee Kevin Rohrer ’82 says. Thunderbird Career Management Center staff members Helen Wu ’12 and Mike Kennard ’15 joined the gathering.
A team of Thunderbird MBA students won the APICS West Coast Case Competition on Feb. 21-22, 2014, in Costa Mesa, California, and will represent the region in the national championships on Oct. 17-18 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Overall, 22 teams from 15 business schools competed. The winning team, pictured at left, includes Alekhya Yerrakalva ’15, Jonathan Harmon ’14, M.H. Karunakaren ’14 and Wade Sutton ’14. Karunakaren said Thunderbird's winning strategy involved selecting team members with different strengths and backgrounds. “We knew each other’s skills, and we had a diverse team,” he said.
Each team had six hours to analyze a cross-border logistics case for an auto parts supplier, write a paper, and present solutions to a panel of judges. Four teams were invited to come back on the second day of the competition to make a second presentation. “The company in the case was losing $1 million a day,” Karunakaren said. “We had to help them figure out better approaches.”