Multimillion-dollar pledges jumpstart campaign
Thunderbird has received several multimillion-dollar commitments to its capital campaign from members of the school’s board of trustees and alumni, including $10 million from alumnus and Trustee Scott Walker and $5 million from campaign chairs Barbara and Craig Barrett. These significant commitments bring the total to $38.6 million, which is 59.4 percent of Campaign Thunderbird’s $65 million goal.
Campaign commitments to date also include $4 million from Jerry and Rachele Nichols, $3.5 million from Ken Seward, and $2.6 million from a family foundation being created by Trustee David and Joan Lincoln and their family.
Campaign Thunderbird, will publicly launch Oct. 1 with a celebration on Thunderbird’s Glendale, Ariz., campus. The campaign’s key initiatives are to raise funds for scholarships, professorships, curricular innovation and research, improved facilities, technology and operations.
“Campaign Thunderbird will help us prepare countless more young men and women to become the world's future global leaders," said Thunderbird President Ángel Cabrera. "More than ever the world needs people with a global mindset who can navigate a complex global business landscape. We are extremely grateful for the generous philanthropy of our school's leading supporters, who are allowing us to help make the world a better place through education.”
Walker’s $10 million commitment will fund the operations and expansion of the Thunderbird Center for Global Entrepreneurship, which was established in 2005 from a $1 million gift also made by Walker. His latest commitment will go into a permanent endowment, the proceeds of which will allow the center to offer more scholarships, fund professorships and support entrepreneurial events. Walker will be honored and the center renamed the “Scott Walker Center for Global Entrepreneurship” at a campus ceremony on May 6.
Walker, who is the founder and president of BillMatrix, a Dallas-based payment services company, says he made this sizable donation because Thunderbird transformed his life and set him on his career and life path. He said he wants to extend that experience and opportunity to others. “None of us arrived at where we are on this planet without somebody else helping us along the way. It is paramount that we give back. This is a big commitment for me, and I want other people to step up, too.”
Trustee Barbara Barrett, president and CEO of Triple Creek Guest Ranch and Craig Barrett, chairman of the board, Intel Corp., will be honored for their $5 million commitment on May 2 during a private Global Leadership Society dinner featuring Chairman and CEO of Forbes Magazine Steve Forbes.
The Barretts, who have earmarked their gift for scholarships, said they support Thunderbird because the school inspires what the world needs today: thoughtful leadership, cultural understanding and multilingual communication. At the dinner, the naming of the Barbara and Craig Barrett Honor Council Rooms will be announced. These rooms are used for classes, lectures and other special presentations for Thunderbird students and the broader community.
Seward, a retired financial services professional and long-time Trustee, and Nichols, senior vice president of Institutional Consulting Group, UBS Financial Services Inc., are both graduates of Thunderbird and were honored for their commitments during Thunderbird’s Homecoming celebrations Feb. 29-March 2.
The Nichols’ have earmarked their commitment for a scholarship fund that will bear their name, and Seward is funding the Seward Chair, presently held by Dr. Andrew Inkpen, as well as $135,000 in unrestricted funds.
“Thunderbird opened my mind to the idea of being a citizen of the world. To always endeavor to create prosperity for others and our needs would be automatically taken care of in the process,” says Nichols. “In other words, doing well by doing good and by acting locally and thinking globally. We hope that our action will inspire others to join in to support Thunderbird and its capital campaign, which will solidify the school and its world class reputation of excellence.”
The Lincoln foundation contribution will be put into a permanent endowment that will fund the operations of the Lincoln Center for Ethics in Global Management, which was created in 2005 from a $1 million donation from the Lincolns. The new Lincoln gift will fund scholarships, research efforts, operations and events. The Lincoln Center was a strategic partner and primary sponsor of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), an initiative developed to promote corporate responsibility and sustainability in business education.