‘Borderless’: The Last Word

A Letter from the Editor

Graduation is upon us. This signals a time of change and transition. However, for T-Birds, much of our Thunderbird experience was fraught with nothing but change and transition. – Now, there are many ways to look at that; some might quote Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Or, others might look to the fictional Don Draper of TV’s Mad Men who said, “Change is neither good nor bad, it simply is.”

TowerR2The conundrum for Dickens and Draper is that it only accounts for change as circumstances beyond our control. However, it is our reaction to change that determines whether it is good or bad. – Thunderbird has endured for 70 years and has gone through its share of name changes, degree programs, and world events. Change has been Thunderbird’s constant companion. And Thunderbird has thrived throughout the decades, in part thanks to the foresight of General Yount who saw globalization on the horizon, even in 1946.

Photo Courtesy of Beitman
Photo Courtesy of Beitman

But times changed and so did the world. Even though Thunderbird excelled in its niche, circumstances necessitated our merger with Arizona State University. This union brought the resources and benefits of a Research I university, as well as some fears that the Thunderbird brand might be diluted or lost. – Well, it is not so important to determine whether this is good or bad, but it is up to us to ensure that the future is better.

It is our choice as to the kind of alumni we will be. Having self-selected into this community, we are called not to be rent seekers, but to fulfill the Thunderbird mission to “create sustainable prosperity worldwide”. – Thus, our merger is an opportunity for us to share our “mystique” with both ASU and the global community. It is an occasion for us to be change agents and show the world what T-Birds are made of. If we are successful in that regard, then Thunderbird will be too.

T-Birds are doers. That is what it means to be a T-Bird, to be someone who wants to change the world and then does it. As we go forth from this place, we need to be mindful of our obligations to the local and global community. Wherever we are, we have a higher purpose: to create prosperity, to be authentic, to be global citizens, and to be truly borderless.


Rick Beitman

Editor-in-Chief, Das Tor

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