By Terrance Balousek, Staff Writer
The intense sunlight bounced off of every multicolored building surrounding the empty lot. The dusty gravel crunched under the soles of our formal, leather shoes. Students, alumni and spectators from across the globe socialized and the energy of the crowd had a charge that was physically perceptible. On this day, October 7th, the Thunderbird School of Global Management celebrated a momentous groundbreaking. The school would soon have a new, permanent home in downtown Phoenix.
Thunderbird’s new global headquarters will be located on the corner of 1st and Polk Streets in Downtown Phoenix. The structure itself is designed by MRY & Jones Studio and will include a rounded facade made primarily of glass.
The building will have many state-of-the-art amenities, including an indoor/outdoor venue, a green screen recording studio, and a massive situation room. On top of that, the building will include a rooftop pub which will host university functions and be open to the public.
This new campus marks a new start for Thunderbird, students says Michael Crow. He has wanted to collaborate with Thunderbird since becoming the President of ASU in 2002.
“Thunderbird is, in my mind, a leadership academy…it’s a place that takes people interested in understanding how to make the world a better place and brings them together with other like-minded individuals, a fantastic faculty and alumni group.”
This new place on campus will provide numerous benefits to the students who attend. These students will have access to all of the vast resources that ASU Downtown has to offer, including collaboration with the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, the College of Public Service and Community Solutions and the College of Nursing and Health Innovation.
The new headquarters will also be beneficial to Thunderbird alumni by providing a permanent place to reconnect with the institution that many credit their professional success. One of these alumni is Hiroshi Hamada, CEO of Japan’s largest mortgage company, Aruhi.
“Without going to Thunderbird my life would have been much more boring,” he said. “I would have stayed at home having ramen for lunch and watching boring TV…. But now I’m traveling around the world. I’m 60 years old but who cares about age, I have energy because of Thunderbird. My personal life and professional life have been tuned by fellow T-Birds.”
Downtown Phoenix and its residents will also benefit from Thunderbird’s new global headquarters. Hundreds of new students will be living downtown and contributing monetarily and culturally to their local communities. These students will help to create a more global city by bringing diversity to the area, says Phoenix Mayor, Kate Gallego.
“Having ASU Downtown has completely changed our city for the better and I know that the addition of Thunderbird’s new campus will only increase the success of our Downtown core.“
The addition of Thunderbird School of Global Management to ASU Downtown’s core will be beneficial for students, alumni and the City of Phoenix. According to Thunderbird’s Dean, Sanjeev Khagram, this campus will be more than just a new building. It will be the home of abstract ideas, innovation, and ethical leadership that will spearhead the future of business.
“We plan to open this great new global headquarters in April 2021 when the school turns 75 years… In partnership with the great institution and leadership at Arizona State to make the world a better place. To train the future business leaders, government leaders and leaders of civil society that will make all of our lives better, our children’s lives and our grandchildren’s lives.”