Class of '65 alumnus recalls first days at Thunderbird

I don’t remember too much about my first day at Thunderbird, then known as the American Institute for Foreign Trade (AIFT). Immediately after my graduation ceremony at UCLA in January of 1965 I drove all night from L.A to Glendale, Arizona to register at Thunderbird. After being assigned a dorm room with three other guys I met with a counselor and selected my classes. I also took a Spanish placement test and then made a visit to the book store that was located in one of the old hangar buildings.  

My real lasting memories were of my fellow students and professors during my first semester at AIFT. A year later I graduated with the Bachelor of Foreign Trade degree and then moved on to a career in international journalism and overseas development work in Southeast Asia.  

Following a 2 1/2 year assignment in South Vietnam with the Community Development Foundation, I eventually returned to graduate school and earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I subsequently spent 31 years on the faculty at UH with numerous overseas assignments until I retired in January  2009. Since that time my wife and I have split our time between Honolulu and Manila where I was recruited by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), a stand-alone graduate school of Management very similar to Thunderbird.

—Harold J. McArthur ‘65

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