From the Archives… Carl Sauer


By Shannon Walker

Upon his departure from his Presidential post in 1953, President Juliber proclaimed Carl Sauer “as the most qualified man to fill this position.” Dr. Carl Sauer had worked at AIFT in various administrative capacities, (initially as assistant to President Schurz) since 1950. As President, Dr. Sauer sought to build the financial and academic stability of the Institute.

During this time, the School began its affiliation with the American Management Association. It was thought was that the school’s reputation would be enhanced through association with a strong national organization. In addition, Dr. Sauer, with Dean Milton Towner, initiated the process of accreditation for the School.

As reminisced by librarian Lora Jeanne Wheeler, “[During Sauer’s tenure]…there was a sense of family, and the staff was dedicated to the idea of this school. I am sure there are many people here who could have gone outside and made a lot more money. In fact, there were years in which everybody just held their breath and said, ‘I hope we make it through the year.’ I think everyone here was genuinely dedicated to the goals of the school and the concept—the ideas that the school was founded on. They wanted to see it succeed, and they were willing to sacrifice financial gain and even living in another place because they wanted to see the school achieve its goal.”

After suffering a heart attack in 1965, President Sauer retired from office but spent many years living on campus in the faculty residences (where the YMCA is now located).  He served as President for 13 years and is remembered for improving the school’s  academic respectability with very limited resources.

Shannon Walker is the Archivist at Thunderbird School of Global Management. The Archives are located in the Hangar, next to Mail Services. Open hours are on Fridays, 10:00 AM-3:00 PM, come by for a visit!

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