Sights & Sounds


Some stories are best told through photos and videos. Sights & Sounds puts you in the front row, allowing you to meet Thunderbird newsmakers and to hear their messages in their own words.


T-birds reconnect at 41st European reunion

Historic Dubrovnik, Croatia, often called the pearl of the Adriatic, was the site for Thunderbird’s 41st European Reunion — a four-day extravaganza that brought more than 170 alumni together to network, learn and have fun. Old friends and classmates reconnected during a welcome BBQ at the beautiful Hotel Grand Villa Argentina and afterwards attended a World Cup Soccer viewing with Croatia vs. Brazil in the first game of the tournament.

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Congratulations Amway Case Competition Winners

Thunderbird would like to give a huge round of applause to the student winners of the first-ever Amway Case Competition hosted on campus. Student participants engaged in a full day of competition activities, starting with an Amway company presentation and case introduction, followed by a four-hour work session and presentation development with their team. The student teams gave outstanding presentations which were then deliberated on by a panel of judges that included Amway representatives, T-birds who work at Amway and Thunderbird professors.

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Alumni reception in Tokyo largest ever in Japan

On April 3, 2014, 90 T-birds (with graduating years spanning from 1969-2013) came together for a special alumni reception hosted by the Tokyo alumni chapter.

“About 100 people joined the event,” said Chapter Leader Yohei Matsumura ’13, who is also a member of the inaugural Alumni Council of Thunderbird (ACT). “This was the biggest Thunderbird event ever in Japan.” 

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Sunshine appears for Rugby Alumni Weekend

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.”

Student and her mentor to graduate together

MBA student Kelly Tiller ’14 had an ally during her summer 2013 internship at Johnson & Johnson in Pennsylvania. When she needed guidance during the first week, she sent an emergency text to Executive MBA student Jacquelyn Tallarico ’14, a neurosurgical specialist at Johnson & Johnson in Arizona. “She called me back immediately, and we talked for an hour,” Tiller said. “It changed the whole trajectory of my summer, which ended with a full-time job offer.”

Tallarico is one of 27 volunteers matched with Thunderbird students through a mentorship program that Tiller manages for campus club Women International. Unlike other mentors in the program, Tallarico is a Thunderbird student herself — although farther along in her career. Participants in the Executive MBA program, which caters to working professionals, come to Thunderbird with an average of 14 years of work experience. Tallarico and Tiller will graduate together on May 9, 2014, and then continue working for Johnson & Johnson.

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What makes Thunderbirds special

By Mansour Javidan, Ph.D.
Adapted from a speech delivered Jan. 13, 2014, to incoming Thunderbird students

The whole point of my talk today is to welcome you home. By the end of my talk, you will know what I mean. Many people ask, “What is special about Thunderbird, this place in Arizona?” The quick answer is that what makes Thunderbird special is the students. The students are a unique bunch.

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Taiwanese alumni gather at Taipei coffeehouse

Alumni from class years 1988 to 2013 attended the annual gathering of Thunderbird’s Taipei Chapter on Nov. 3, 2013. “We had a great time,” said chapter leader Shao-Ping Paul Pan ‘05. ”People had a chance to get to know each other.” About 25 guests, including some who commuted several hours from other cities, shared light refreshments and conversation at the Little London, a tea and coffeehouse decorated with British flags and other memorabilia. T-bird Steven Kao ‘04 took several photos, which may be viewed on the chapter’s event page. Chapter leaders George Yao ’05 and Frank Cheng Yang Chen ‘05 also donated their time and talents to make the event possible. The following video captures highlights of the activity:

Thunderbird Global Council analyzes, endorses planned alliance

Alumni support for Thunderbird’s planned strategic alliance with Laureate Education, Inc., swelled Oct. 1-2, 2013, during the annual gathering of the Thunderbird Global Council, a volunteer advisory group comprised mostly of alumni business leaders from around the world. Several council members arrived on campus with misgivings about the school’s growth plans, but most doubts faded after two days of face-to-face interaction with senior leaders from Thunderbird and Laureate.

Rugby ambassadors compete in Croatia, Montenegro

Alumni rugby players served as Thunderbird ambassadors during their summer 2013 tour of Croatia and Montenegro. The group distributed more than 100 tour programs detailing Thunderbird’s story and mission, along with a QR code leading to Thunderbird’s website. The QR code also appeared on the custom bottle openers that the T-birds gave to their opponents after each match.

Videos: Thunderbird honors Barbara and Craig Barrett

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.

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