Once on the verge of calamity, Thunderbird school has a resurgence

An illustration of the Thunderbird School of Global Management. / Courtesy of ASU

By Rachel Leingang | Arizona Republic

Corrections & Clarifications: A previous headline incorrectly identified Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Five years ago, Arizona’s homegrown international management school, once considered a leader for international business training, was on the brink.

But on Monday, a renewed version of the Thunderbird School of Global Management will break ground with a new building in Phoenix, a physical rebirth several years removed from a tumultuous period that saw an alumni revolt and extreme financial woes. 

The building — a five-floor, $67 million project next to Arizona State University’s law school on its downtown Phoenix campus — signals a step forward for a once-foundering Thunderbird.

In the nearly five years since ASU bought Thunderbird, the school’s enrollment has rebounded, albeit still below its historical high mark.

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