Thunderbird School of Global Management trustees and their guests gathered Feb. 3, 2011, to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit in a converted World War II hangar where Chinese pilots trained for combat with their U.S. and British allies.
“Many Chinese pilots trained here in the old Thunderbird Airfield No. 2,” Thunderbird Present Ángel Cabrera, Ph.D., told the audience of about 100 trustees, students, professors and other guests. “The connections between this land and China go back a long time.”
Trustee Merle Hinrichs, a 1965 Thunderbird graduate who lives in Hong Kong, said the conversion of a war training facility into a global business school sends a strong message about the power of international trade to build lasting peace.
“People need to remember how to get beyond war and sustain peace,” he said. “That type of legacy at Thunderbird is so important for students who have not seen war.”
Cabrera said many in the United States see China’s growth and worry about lost jobs, lost revenue and new competition for scarce resources such as minerals and oil. But he said prosperity in China benefits everyone in the world economy.
“China is the living proof that our beliefs in the power of trade are right,” Cabrera said. “In less than one generation, the Chinese have been able to pull hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and build a thriving economy.”
He said China’s surge over the past 30 years is a direct result of the country’s willingness to engage in business and form partnerships with private enterprises.
“The world is better off because China is better off,” Cabrera said. “And Thunderbird has been the proud educator of many individuals who contributed in their own ways to make that happen.”
Cabrera said Mandarin has become the second most popular foreign language taught at Thunderbird. Many Chinese students come to Thunderbird for their MBA education, and an increasing number of Thunderbird students from the United States and other countries visit China.
“Some will stay here and some will return to China,” Cabrera said. “But all of them will contribute to establish stronger ties among the economies of China, the United States and other parts of the world.”
Several Thunderbird students followed Cabrera’s speech with demonstrations of various Chinese arts. Bo Lin performed tai-chi, Emmi Li played the Chinese zither and Wei Li painted a banner in calligraphy.
“Happy New Year to everyone!” emcee Monica Zhou told the audience. “I hope the best for everyone and the best for Thunderbird during 2011.”
|Chinese New Year at Thunderbird: Thunderbird School of Global Management trustees, MBA students and guests celebrate the Chinese New Year on Feb. 3, 2011, in Glendale, Arizona. View the video on YouTube or on China’s www.tudou.com (3:19).|