The Annals of History: A Letter from the Editor

On April 1, the entire Glendale staff of Das Tor christened its newly renovated office in Snel 10 among a select group of student leaders and administration. – Regrettably, staff writers Emma Livingston and Sindhuja Kodivalasa could not be present as they were in Prague, relegating the exploits and travel adventures of T-Birds on the Module Abroad in the Czech Republic.

Photo Courtesy of Katie Purcell
Photo Courtesy of Katie Purcell

On behalf of the staff, special thanks must go to Laurie Garcia and all of Facilities Management for the beautiful job they did on recreating our workspace. – Before, the Das Tor office was a 90s nightmare, cluttered with filing cabinets, mismatched and oversized furniture, and antiquated desktop computers. It was dismally off-white and was underutilized.

Photo Courtesy of Rick Beitman
Photo Courtesy of Rick Beitman

Now, following renovation, the office has been transformed into both a functional and comfortable space. It is modern and minimalist as befits a Millennial workforce while still affirming Das Tor’s longstanding T-Bird heritage. – It is remarkable the difference a fresh coat of paint and contemporary furnishings can make. Its walls, now a soothing cerulean hue, reflects the revitalization that Das Tor is undergoing.

Photo Courtesy of Rick Beitman
Photo Courtesy of Rick Beitman

This trimester has been one of change, as the merger of Thunderbird and ASU has become a reality. There have been concerns over numerous items such as admissions requirements regarding the GMAT and GRE, the impending closure of the East and West Dorms, and how Thunderbird fits into the massive ‘ASU Knowledge Enterprise’. While there has been uncertainty regarding the aforementioned and other issues, we can learn from our past.

Photo Courtesy of Rick Beitman
Photo Courtesy of Rick Beitman

Prior to the renovation, on March 2, I had to personally clear out all the storage before Facilities Management could begin its work. I emptied the filing cabinets until 4:00 AM that morning. – From inception in 1969 until 2011, Das Tor was a print publication and decades of these old editions filled those cabinets. Naturally, I was not working the whole time as I stopped periodically to read from the annals of our history and its ink came off on my fingers.

Photo Courtesy of Rick Beitman
Photo Courtesy of Rick Beitman

If there was one thing I learned from those newspapers of bygone eras, it is that change has been our constant companion. – In a circa 2001 paper, I skimmed an article where Thunderbird was considering migrating from its MIM to a Global MBA to address declining enrollment. Students were worried how this change might impact the rankings… Sound familiar?

Photo Courtesy of Rick Beitman
Photo Courtesy of Rick Beitman

The merger with ASU is just another chapter in Thunderbird history. T-Birds have had to adapt to change since our foundation. While worry may accompany change, our continuous adaptation to it brings success. – Thunderbird has gone through seven names, dozens of degree and certificate programs and still survived. Thus, it does not matter if we are called the American Institute for Foreign Trade or Thunderbird School of Global Management. It matters not if we offer the Global MBA or a MGM.

Photo Courtesy of Rick Beitman
Photo Courtesy of Rick Beitman

Like Thunderbird, Das Tor looks to the future. This trimester we collaborated with TSG to develop a master calendar, we filmed our first video interview, and this week we unveiled our new website format. On April Fools’ Day, we reintroduced ‘Sad Rot’, a satire issue, which is an old and largely forgotten tradition. We have accomplished a lot, and we are not done yet.

Photo Courtesy of Rick Beitman
Photo Courtesy of Rick Beitman

However, while Das Tor continues to expand its opportunities in media, we will not stray from the original mission of founding editor Bob Morabito: to be ‘an open forum for debate’ and ‘a clearinghouse of ideas’. – Degree programs, policies, and other details will change, but one thing has not: the ‘Thunderbird mystique’. The ‘mystique’ is our immutable spirit, something so special that it is intangible and defies definition, yet we all know what it means.

Sincerely,

Rick Beitman,

Editor-in-Chief, Das Tor

Richard Beitman

Richard Beitman

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