By Lenora Peppers Greene, ’02
Dear Incoming T-birds, fellow Future Alumni,
Welcome to Thunderbird! You have made a great choice with your life that will take you down a new path – full of energy, exhaustion, a little drama and a lot of learning.
During the first week of classes 15 years ago when I was in your spot, Dr. Caren Siehl told our Chuckwalla cohort, “it’s like a fire hydrant, some of the water you’ll catch, and some you’ll decide not to.” I had no earthly idea what she meant until about week three. And then it hit. There was so much to do, so many things to try, and so much to learn. We all learned to rely on our teammates, to find the teammates who did what they said they would do, and to experience the joy of figuring out what information was pertinent – and what was not.
We also learned there would be much advice handed our way…have fun, help your teammates, hang out at the Pub, study hard, go abroad, join a club, take FORAD…the list goes on.
With all of that, the most important lesson we learned was how to be a T-bird. There is a unique bond that connects us, one that will last a lifetime. Call it worldliness, compassion, understanding, empathy, intelligence, well-roundedness, community-focused… whatever that ‘je ne sais quoi’ is about us T-birds, we are all one. In time, you’ll see how strong that bond is, and how far it can take you. And so we welcome you to our community, to our world.
We, alumni, are here to help. When our alumni and future alumni are successful, Thunderbird benefits. I invite you to join the Thunderbird Independent Alumni Association (TIAA) as a Current Student. TIAA serves our alumni and future alumni via professional development, personal growth and policy issues, which help T-birds network and support one another wherever we are in the world. We host conferences, webinars, lunches and online support. Creating your TIAA account at http://www.tiaaglobal.org is complementary for current students and allows you to start connecting and building relationships with T-bird alums immediately.
When you build relationships with T-birds, your professional and personal life will benefit. Spend time at the Pub with friends, with fellow T-birds. Above all, remember alumni are here to help you. We’ve been there, we understand. Connect with us.
Congratulations on becoming a T-bird! I look forward to meeting you and my door is always open. Call, email or connect with me on LinkedIn.
Lenora Peppers Greene ‘02
Thunderbird Independent Alumni Association