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About 45 T-birds and their guests packed the San Diego Diplomacy Council headquarters on May 7, 2013, for a First Tuesday event featuring Alexander Zak, a lectuer in the Thunderbird Educator Network. Zak spoke about what it means to be a global leader. The event also featured live music by flamenco guitarist David de Alva, wines from Baja winery Alximia, food from Matisse Bistro, and local artisan beers from Stone Brewery, Green Flash and Arrogant Bastard. "The event was fully sponsored," said Fernando Gaxiola ’07, vice president of Social and Cultural Programs for the Thunderbird alumni chapter in San Diego , California. "No fee was charged to our members." Here are some event photos:
By Gregory C. Unruh and Ángel Cabrera
You’ve read about and admired them, maybe met some of them. You’ve certainly benefited from their work: The growing elite of global businesspeople who are helping to define today’s international commerce. They are creating immense value for their companies and themselves — and, in many cases, making the world a better place. Most of these leaders have extensive international experience, speak multiple languages, and can tap into worldwide professional networks. But what really defines them is their ability to create value by helping their organizations adopt a global perspective. Read the full article, "Join the Global Elite," in the May 2013 issue of Harvard Business Review. Access the online article here or download the print version in PDF format.
One of the most important meetings in the early stages of the world’s largest airline merger hinged in 2012 on one key relationship forged years earlier between two former colleagues, US Airways Chairman and CEO Doug Parker told Thunderbird graduates on May 3, 2013. “Relationships matter,” Parker said during his keynote commencement speech in Phoenix, Arizona. “After 27 years in business, the big secret I have for you is that personal, human relationships are really important.”
Parker addressed 242 Thunderbird graduates from 35 countries, using behind-the-scenes glimpses of the $11 billion US Airways-American Airlines merger to illustrate his points.
The naming ceremony for the Barbara and Craig Barrett Building included a surprise for the guests of honor on April 26, 2013. The Barretts came to campus for the naming of the building, but they received an extra nod of appreciation when Thunderbird Board of Trustees Chairwoman Ann Iverson announced that “interim” will no longer modify the title of former Thunderbird President Barbara Barrett, who led the school during a transition period from April 27 to Nov. 1, 2012. A resolution formalizing the announcement praised Barrett for her impeccable leadership.
Earlier in the reception, Thunderbird President Larry Edward Penley, Ph.D., toasted the Barretts and recounted their years of service to Thunderbird. "In recognition of the role that education, especially international business education, plays in our prosperity and economic development, and in the development of the lives affected by the businesses that are created, in the role that donors play in our nonprofits, especially in education and in this great school, but especially today in recognition of Barbara and Craig Barrett, we offer this toast in your honor, in appreciation for all that you do," Penley said.
Many Thunderbird students graduate with the hope of beginning a global adventure, but one online student sees his MBA as a sort of capstone to a lifetime of world experiences. Jay Jacobsmuhlen ’13 will walk across the stage this week at age 65 and receive what will be his fourth higher education degree — also having earned bachelor’s, master’s and law degrees – and with his feet having touched down in more than 80 countries. “I was actually first interested in Thunderbird as an undergrad,” said Jacobsmuhlen, whose love for global adventure traces back to age 13 when his parents put him on plane from Seattle, Washington, to Germany to visit family for the summer. But his decision to pursue law took him in another direction. “I was debating business or law,” he said, “and ended up pursuing my law degree.”
Before enrolling at Thunderbird, Executive MBA student Scott Warren ’13 received a Silver Star for gallantry after he saved the lives of his special operations team during a suicide bomber attack in Iraq. Afterward, the U.S. Army assault team sergeant dug himself out of the rubble. Warren will graduate with his Thunderbird classmates on May 3, 2013, in a ceremony for 242 degree and certificate candidates from 11 programs.
Thunderbird Magazine has captured campus and alumni news for decades. The Spring 1979 issue (with a cover photo highlighting the 19th century map collection of Daniel C. Grumbles ’78), focuses on Europe with a Thunderbird assessment of the shifting competitive balance on the continent. The issue also includes European recipes from the 1978 Thunderbird Wives' International Cookbook. A photo essay also highlights the T-bird Invitational Balloon Race and a message from Thunderbird President William Voris, who describes Thunderbird partnership programs in England, Spain and France. “As you can see we are pleased with our European connections and will continue to enhance them,” Voris writes. Click here to view all Thunderbird Magazine editions since 2005.
US Airways Chairman and CEO Doug Parker, a driving force behind the $11 billion American Airlines merger, will deliver the keynote address May 3, 2013, at Thunderbird’s spring 2013 commencement. When the merger goes through, Parker will be CEO of the world’s largest airline — the latest chapter in a remarkable story that began in Phoenix, Arizona, with a startup company called America West Airlines.
Parker became CEO at America West just 10 days before the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. He guided the company through the crisis and then through its 2005 merger with US Airways.
At Thunderbird he will address 242 degree and certificate candidates from 11 programs representing 35 countries. The youngest candidate is 22-year-old Ji Chen ’13, a student in Thunderbird’s Master of Science in Global Management program. The oldest candidate is 65-year-old Jay Jacobsmuhlen ’13, a student in Thunderbird’s Online Global MBA program.
To watch the ceremony, come to the Thunderbird Events Center at 10 a.m. Arizona time or visit www.thunderbird.edu/wwwfiles/sites/webcasts/events.html for a live webcast.
Pressure-packed business trips took Story Tweedie-Yates ’13 to five continents in six years, yet she came to Thunderbird in 2011 with no corporate experience. As a touring professional in the Women’s Tennis Association, the U.S. player gained a different type of experience. “Tennis allowed me to develop the ability to cope with stress,” said Tweedie-Yates, who will graduate from Thunderbird on May 3, 2013, with an MBA internship and full-time employment already lined up. Although life as a touring pro was sometimes grueling, Tweedie-Yates said the game taught her patience and sharpened her global mindset. “I didn’t have room for negativity,” she said. “I learned how to enjoy it.”
A group of 1973 T-birds picked up where they left when they gathered for a mini reunion in Februrary 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. "Everyone was fine, no one had changed, and it seemed like it was a week ago since we last saw each other," said Peter Wallin ’73, president of Holdun USA in Miami, Florida. "We met in New Orleans as a sort of midpoint between Texas, Colorado, Connecticut, California, Florida and Greece." Wallin said the friends started their careers together 40 years ago in New York, and the reunion was long overdue. "We hope to do it again as it was a wonderful gathering," he said. T-birds in the photo, taken by Gary Miller ’73, include Santiago Hinojosa ’73, Norman Gottlieb ’73, Baxter Urist ’74, Jimmy Sanchez ’73, Costas Theodorou ’73 and Peter Wallin ’73. Another classmate, Bob Lautz ’73, also attended the reunion.