[photopress:MBA_thunderbirds.jpg,full,alignright]Thunderbird School of Global Management (this splendidly named school is in Arizona) now has an exchange agreement with Fudan University’s School of Management in Shanghai.
This is yet another extension of Thunderbird’s exchange program which now has 15 exchange locations worldwide. Student exchanges will begin this September with Fudan students attending Thunderbird’s Arizona campus whilst Thunderbird students come to Fudan.
Thunderbird already has existing agreements with Tsinghua University in Beijing and other schools of management.
Why the name Thunderbird? Glad you asked that question.
It is connected with the pilots of World War II. The school was founded in 1946 on Thunderbird Field, an air base established to train U.S., Canadian, British, and Chinese pilots during World War II. There is still an airfield control tower, barracks and airplane hangars, as part of the campus landscape.
[photopress:MBA_Thudnerbirds_2_1.jpg,full,alignright]Following World War II, Lt. General Barton Kyle Yount (1884-1949), the commanding general of the United States Army Air Training Command, decided it would be a good idea to buy the property to start an univeristy which an international aim. The property was valued at US$407,000. However, a law allowed someone to purchase government property at a discount if the property was going to be used for educational purposes.
The founders successfully applied for a 100% discount, so the property came free. A good price. The only condition was that it had to remain as an educational institution for ten years. It has well past that mark and has now been running for nearly 60 years.
It is the the first known school in the world dedicated to training international managers. Thunderbird graduate programs combine business, international studies, cross-cultural communication, and language.
General Yount saw that would be a growing need and as the founding president he effectively created the first school of business to focus exclusively on international management. It was founded as a nonprofit corporation known as the American Institute for Foreign Trade.
Odd note. Thunderbirds was also the name of a quite woeful yet oddly fascinating puppet shown on British television. Our second illustration is taken from there.
Source: The Financial Times