Tbird’s (G)olden Days

A few days ago, I received the following email from one Jim Daniels, the editor of Das Tor in 1972. Many of Mr. Daniel’s descriptions of Tbird’s “(G)olden days” struck me as still applicable to the Tbird of today. His reflections on a past that in many ways has not yet passed brought a huge smile to my face, and I hope it will do the same for you.

                     – Chris Barton, Editor-in-Chief


Greetings —

I recently retired after a 40-plus-year career, mostly in New York City, as a marketer for global professional services firms.  In the process of digitizing my career-in-a-box archives, I came across the attached Das Tor article that I thought might be of then-and-now interest to you.

I graduated from Thunderbird — then named the Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management — in August 1972.  It was, I think, the first time it was possible to complete the degree – a Master of International Management (MIM) in those days – in three semesters within a 12-month period.

As I recall, the student body was roughly made up of four components:

  • foreign nationals, as they were then called;
  • children of U.S. expats, who had spent much of their lives overseas and who were impressively fluent in two/three/four/five languages;
  • international-oriented individuals, who presciently saw their professional futures solidified with a Thunderbird degree;
  • and the rest of us:  former Peace Corps volunteers, military veterans, hippies and assorted misfits who wanted to be anywhere but in the United States and who needed some kind of academic/business credential to justify their move overseas.

My guess is that some/many of us in that final category would/could not make the admissions cut today.Of the total student population, fewer than a dozen were women, most of whom were wives of students.

The Pub was not much more than a rumor.

A week or so into the first term, I wrote the accompanying article for Das Tor, which at the time was NOT the most sophisticated publication; in today’s vernacular, it could graciously be described as “artisanal.”  It was six-to-eight single-sided letter-size sheets, mimeographed(!), collated (by hand), stapled (by hand) and (early) every Friday morning distributed (on foot) in bulk to Das Tor boxes across campus.  I don’t remember the number of copies in the production run; besides, “production run” is way too grandiose a term for the process.

Although I never held a lengthy overseas posting in the classic Thunderbird tradition (days and weeks for me, not months and years), I can say that, beyond question, I made use of my degree every day of my career.

Best regards,

Jim Daniels

2 thoughts on “Tbird’s (G)olden Days

  1. I love this! Thank you so much for sharing. I agree that many of his comments are still applicable to Tbird today and that is why I love this place so much.

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