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Forty-Five Countries Represented at Thunderbird School of Global Management's Graduation Last Friday

Flag Ceremony Observed Diversity among Students and Importance in Global Business

GLENDALE, AZ--(Marketwired - May 13, 2014) - Diversity plays a major role in global business practices and Thunderbird School of Global Management's graduation held on Fri., May 9, 2014, was evidence of that. Over 40 countries were represented among the 260 graduates ranging from South Sudan and Egypt to Kyrgyzstan and Macedonia.

This diversity was on display Friday during the international business school's traditional "Parade of International Flags" ceremony, a processional featuring one student from each represented country carrying their nation's flag. In true Thunderbird fashion, each of the 45 flag bearers gave a brief speech about their country's economic, political and social uniqueness. The number of flags at this spring's commencement is the most in the 37-year history of the global business school's colorful flags ceremony.

"Started by students in 1977, the Parade of International Flags remains one of Thunderbird's most time-honored traditions," said Dr. Dale Davison, Thunderbird's dean of faculty and clinical professor of Accounting, who kicked off the graduation ceremony and introduced the parade.

Attendees also heard remarks from Thunderbird President Larry Edward Penley, Ph.D. "Thunderbird has always exhibited a distinctive character and embraced innovation. Celebrate your accomplishments, but challenge yourself to act with honesty and integrity," Dr. Penley told the graduating class, which ranged in age from 22 to 65. "This commencement is about your future."

Robert J. Herbold, retired chief operating officer of Microsoft and recipient of an honorary Doctor of International Law Degree from Thunderbird, gave the spring commencement address. Herbold told a personal story that left graduates with two key messages: "Life is all about continual improvement," said Herbold. "Learn, be curious and seek improvement. Second, learn to spot points of inflection. They can either bury you or be huge opportunities."

The overall messages of diversity and global sustainability were supported in the comments of each of the commencement speakers as they encouraged students to be a driving force for both. Thunderbird School of Global Management develops its business school students with the skills and global mindset to make a positive impact through leadership, contribution and academic achievement wherever their degree takes them.

About Thunderbird School of Global Management

Thunderbird is the world's No.1-ranked international business school with nearly 70 years of experience in developing leaders with the global mindset, business skills and social responsibility necessary to create real, sustainable value for their organizations, communities and the world. Dedicated to preparing business school students to be global leaders and committed global citizens, Thunderbird was the first graduate international business school to adopt a Professional Oath of Honor. Thunderbird's global network of alumni numbers 40,000 graduates in more than 140 nations worldwide. The school is sought out by graduate students, working professionals and companies seeking to gain the skills necessary for success in today's global economy. For more about Thunderbird, visit http://www.thunderbird.edu.

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