The Thunderbird Mystique Lives On (Take 2)

by Joy Lubeck ’86, President of the Alumni Council of Thunderbird (ACT)

May 2014 commencement

On May 9, I enjoyed the distinct privilege of not only attending Thunderbird’s commencement ceremony, but officially welcoming our new graduates into Thunderbird’s global alumni community. 

The beautiful spring air was electric, filled with a great sense of celebration and joy, pride of accomplishment, and love and support for one another. Forty-five flag bearers graced the stage with the pomp and ceremony we all have witnessed for many years. I was struck by the notion that, on our Thunderbird campus, on this particular day, at the very epicenter of our 67 years of history, the Thunderbird Mystique resounded so greatly! It was music to my ears.

The hope that I have been seeking for several years was right there before me and further clarity set in. Our students, faculty and staff have been actively living the vision of “borders frequented by trade seldom need soldiers” each and every day, despite the uncertainty that confronts our beloved Thunderbird today. We alumni can sit on the sidelines and wait… these friends and colleagues have had no choice but to put one foot in front of the other and march onward.

Yet on May 9, the day belonged to our students! Our graduates! They knew they were joining a very unique global alumni community. No explanation was needed… they are now one of us!

I was struck by Anna Shen’s article, a 2014 Executive MBA graduate. Her sentiments also resonated greatly with me. I urge everyone to take time to read it. I refer to her article as The Thunderbird Mystique Lives On, Take 1.

Indeed, our students and graduates are the future!

I invite you to join the ranks of alumni who are already engaged in helping our students and graduates. I invite you to reignite the Thunderbird Mystique within our global alumni community so the celebration can resonate beyond our campus and throughout the world.

Personally, it has been very rewarding to interface with the students, mentor and coach them and connect them with key alumni contacts who have provided further insights and advice, internships and job opportunities. I was delighted to discover that there are already many uncelebrated alumni doing their network magic, as they have done for 67 years.

Here are three ways you can help:

I. Become a Thunderbird Global Ambassador
I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to answer questions, coach, and connect our students and graduates with alumni willing to lend a hand. It doesn’t have to take a lot of your personal time, and the reward is great! Take a moment to apply to be a Global Ambassador. The school is quite intentional about matching interested students with alumni in order to set everyone up for maximum success.

II. Hire a T-bird
Does your company need a globally minded intern or full-time professional? Thunderbird is a resource for global talent! 

III. Become involved in the upcoming 2015 Winterims
By mid-September 2015, Winterims will be confirmed, and our alumni throughout the world will once again have the opportunity to welcome our students and faculty, and to enhance the Winterim experience for our students. Some of the past Winterim locations have included San Francisco, New York, Brazil, India, Switzerland, South Africa and Peru. Once locations are confirmed, we will reach back out and provide you the official cities for January 2015. Stay tuned!

In closing

Our students are demonstrating a remarkable resolve and strength. It is this demonstration of leadership, the choice to make a positive difference, to lead by example through difficult times that defines us.  

This is when hope happens.

I invite all alumni to engage and contribute to Thunderbird’s future – our students and fellow graduates!