In this column, we look at the rich history of the famous buildings of Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Frank L. Snell Learning Center
The Frank L.Snell Learning Center comprises three buildings connected by covered walkways. Completed in 1980, The Snell Learning Center was dedicated on June 5, 1981. It is named after Frank Snell who was a prominent local (Phoenix) attorney and one of the founding Board Members of the American Institute for Foreign Trade.
Snell served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1966 to 1972 and became a trustee emeritus in 1975. The individual buildings are named in honor of three former members of the Board of Trustees who have been benefactors of School; Clay P. Bedford, Thelma H. Kieckhefer and Paul W. Litchfield.
Clay P. Bedford became a trustee in 1964 and obtained trustee emeritus status in 1980. Thelma H. Kieckhefer became a board member in 1970. The late Paul Litchfield served on the National Advisory Council of the School until he became a trustee in 1952. He served as a trustee until his death.
Wilson Classrooms are named after Paul Wilson who was one of the early faculty members. He taught accounting starting in 1947 until retiring in 1980. He continued to teach part time until his death in August 1982.
“Accounting is something like a jigsaw puzzle. It is made up of many parts and no part makes much sense until it is related to the overall picture. The trick is to quickly relate each part to the whole enough times so that each part has real meaning.” -Paul Wilson
Thunderbird students had voted PAUL WILSON the “Best Professor Award'” since its inception in Spring 1975, citing his personal integrity and knowledge and his practical “how-to” accounting instruction. Mr. Wilson expressed a great respect for our capitalistic free-enterprise system. He said, “History with all its limitations is still the most objective set of data we have to prognosticate the future from our policies and practices of today.”
Early orphaned, Paul had worked since childhood. The word “depression” had real meaning for him. He taught commerce and industrial arts for nine years in Ohio; then, in 1946, he headed West because of a family health problem. An ad in the PHOENIX GAZETTE for “an accountant – apply at AIFT” had brought him to teach in1947, during the Yount-Schurz-Shaterian era. His unique class offerings had brought him continued appreciative recognition from his students.
Barton Kyle Yount Center
This building was dedicated on March 24, 1971. It is named after the School’s first President retired Lt. General Barton Kyle Yount. The building was initially built as the library. Right now it acts as a centre for Distance Learning, the Global Mindset Najafi Center and has the Yount auditorium.
Lieutenant General Barton Kyle Yount served as the President of Thunderbird from April 8, 1946 to July 11, 1949. He had three other employment opportunities when he retired from the Army Air Force at the end of World War II. He was asked to serve as the president of Army Air Force Association, to become a Professor of Aviation History at Stanford University, or to build a new agency for the US government that would coordinate the activities of other government agencies. But General Yount chose to join forces with Major Finley Peter Dunne, Chief of student section of the Army Air Force (AAF) Training Command and Colonel W.Stouder Thompson, Chief of Special Services for the Training Command to start Thunderbird, which was then called as American Institute of Foreign Trade (AIFT).