By Chanel McFollins, Staff Writer
As I was talking about missing The Pub (our home pub on the Thunderbird Glendale campus in the tower), a first-year student asked “What was so special about that pub that is hard to find another? Was it the size?” That’s when it hit me: most of the incoming class has not seen or experienced The Pub as we know it, so it might be difficult to understand why we are so attached. So, here I’ve laid out three reasons The Pub was so special:
Connection to History
I am one who loves history, and I felt it every time I walked through the doors of The Pub.
I am so happy that I got a year to experience something that many in our T-bird network have because it gives us a place a start our conversation, a way to connect with one another across generations of Thunderbird. I could not imagine not having experienced the same place that so many of our fellow T-birds have walked through. There were three main parts of the pub: inside was the bar, the courtyard, and the game room (pictures below). Every pub night was different; some were lit, some were slow, but you could always count on there being T-birds at that bar or in that courtyard.
The game room had the classic foosball and pool tables, and was decorated with aged signage and photos portraying decades from our old sports teams and activities. There was a dated street sign with our old school name and a large sign of our old Thunderbird logo. The walls were chalk, and T-birds from all over the world wrote their names and testaments on the walls. The courtyard housed a mural of a red, white and blue Thunderbird on the wall next to the bathrooms. There were also tables and chairs donated by alumni, and medium-sized twinkle lights that hung above our heads. The very tables that we sit at in the break room today are from the area of The Pub as well.
Patrick, our bartender, had worked at Thunderbird for years! He was there all the time, sometimes with a smile, sometimes not, but he was always there to serve and make sure you had a good time.
A place of fellowship
One of the first questions alumni ask about your T-bird experience is “Have you been to The Pub?” The number one word of advice I have received as a student from alumni is “Go to The Pub!” The reasoning is because you never knew who you were going to meet or forge relationships with.
*I want to note that the pub we reminisce and the pub some alumni reference are two different pubs. While they were both on the Glendale campus, the older pub was located at what we knew as the security office. Many of us current T-birds never saw the inside of it. Nevertheless, the T-birds who experienced that pub have their stories and nostalgia for their pub just as well.*
The Pub was open to all, T-bird or not. It was a place for friends and friends of friends. It was a place for students and professors alike. It was a place for pets (we had some seriously cute puppies come through). It was a place for friendship. First year and second year students do not take classes together, so you got to know each other through the dorms, the Commons (cafeteria), student organizations, and The Pub. As an off-campus student, I could not make my connections in the dorms, so I had to use the other three avenues. On my first Pub Night, I met one of my closest T-bird friends, who was a second year (he rarely missed a Pub Night). I may not have created that friendship if I didn’t have The Pub as a pathway. And many Pub Nights thereafter, my relationships with students in my own intake class strengthened as a result of being in the right place at the right time.
It was ours
The Pub was what we made it. It was a hangout spot, it was a restaurant, it was a gala, it was a bar, it was a place to network. It was not just a place to grab drinks at night; we could go there any day of the week to get food, meet with one another, and yeah, day drink on occasion. We played our own music and danced like no one was watching. We paid very little and got drunk off of one drink (thanks Pat!).
Regardless of whether we find a temporary pub home to our liking, or keep jumping around until we graduate, none of these places will be our home. Our experiences in these places will never be able to amount to the pure richness of The Pub in Glendale. The part that is the most unsettling is that as alumni, we will never get to return home. But that is just the nature of this process.
I commend those who continue to try to find us a space that reminds us of home. Until then, cheers to The Pub! May it always bring back good memories.
Additional photos submitted by students: