Then & Now


History runs deep at Thunderbird, which served as a military training base during World War II. Then & Now highlights the changes that have taken place since 1946, when the school opened its doors as the world’s first institution focused exclusively on global management education.


Then & Now: Thunderbird logo, 1940s to 2014

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.

Magazine Department: 

From the archives: Thunderbird Magazine, Spring 1980

The Spring 1980 issue of Thunderbird Magazine explores business opportunities in Africa with a cover photo by former Thunderbird Professor Karl Magyar showing a Togo street market. “Change in sub-saharan Africa is best described as abrupt, dynamic and uncertain,” the article states. “There is nothing more important to the nations of Africa than getting on their feet through self-determination by exploitation of the rich mineral and agricultural resources with which they are blessed. Nigeria is a leader in this regard.” The isssue also features African recipes from the Thunderbird Wives’ Club 1978 International Cookbook. Former Thunderbird President William Voris also highlights African enrollment at Thunderbird. “In the past year we have had students from Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon and the Sudan,” he reports. “This is a good beginning, but the school wants to be more helpful to these developing nations.” Read the full issue …

Magazine Department: 

Thunderbird Magazine, Spring 1991

The spring 1991 issue of Thunderbird Magazine highlights campus changes under the leadership of former Thunderbird President Roy Herberger, Ph.D. “The School is now reflecting the course he has charted,” the cover article says. “New degrees are being offered — the Executive Master of International Management and the Master of International Health Management; new buildings are changing the campus horizon; new ties are being forged in Japan, Austria and Germany to expand the unique Thunderbird program; and a new capital campaign has been announced to create this world of difference.” Read the full issue in PDF format.

Magazine Department: 

Thunderbird Magazine, Spring 1975

Few women enrolled at Thunderbird in the school’s early decades. “We never used to encourage women students,” Thunderbird’s former Director of Alumni Relations Martha Snyder says in an Arizona Republic article published Dec. 17, 1972. “Men employers think women will get engaged in six months, then six months later get married, then get pregnant shortly after that.” About 6 percent of Thunderbird graduates were women in 1972, including Susan Corcoran Hayes ’72. “I can look back on many of the campus interviews in which the interviewer inquired if I thought I could work effectively overseas as a woman,” she says in the spring 1975 issue of Thunderbird Magazine. “My answer was that if I did my job well and satisfied the client’s needs, I should have no problem.” By 1975 about 20 percent of Thunderbird graduates were women — meaning the rate more than tripled in three years. View a PDF of the spring 1975 issue.

Magazine Department: 

Thunderbird Magazine, 1995 Special Issue

Thunderbird Magazine celebrated the school’s 50thanniversary with a special edition in 1995. “Like the Phoenix bird that rose from its own ashes, Thunderbird rose triumphantly from the aftermath of World War II,” the cover story begins. The issue features the recollections of Jack Rokahr ’47, one of the first students to arrive at the American Institute of Foreign Trade, and Diego Veitia ’66, who got scolded by administrators after he and a classmate started a wildly popular nightclub for Phoenix college students.

Magazine Department: 

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