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Global leaders are entrusted with authority, governance and influence over people and profits. But more than that, leaders are entrusted with responsibility and accountability. Their actions hold great power—to create or destroy value, to build communities or tear them down, to establish a society of stability or one of volatility. Conducting business as ethical global citizens is paramount. And at Thunderbird, it’s our pledge.
In 2004, then-Thunderbird President Angel Cabrera, Ph.D., challenged students to create a business oath, much like the medical profession’s Hippocratic Oath, to guide them through every decision in their careers. The student-run Thunderbird Honor Council drafted the oath reflecting the school’s core values and ethics. In 2006, the Thunderbird Board of Trustees unanimously voted to assimilate the oath into the school’s educational fabric, from the application process to graduation ceremonies.
In today’s business world, where leaders often face distrust from shareholders and the general public, Thunderbird’s Professional Oath of Honor builds credibility and fosters an attitude of accountability for international business leaders. Not only does the Thunderbird Oath instill the right values in the world’s future business leaders, it attracts professionals with strong ethics to become part of this global effort by enrolling in one of Thunderbird’s top-ranked programs.
The Oath is recited at every commencement ceremony and binds each Thunderbird cohort:
As a Thunderbird and a global citizen, I promise:
I will strive to act with honesty and integrity,
I will respect the rights and dignity of all people,
I will strive to create sustainable prosperity worldwide,
I will oppose all forms of corruption and exploitation, and
I will take responsibility for my actions.
As I hold true to these principles, it is my hope that I may enjoy an honorable reputation and peace of conscience.
This pledge I make freely and upon my honor.
Championed by Thunderbird's Lincoln Center for Ethics in Global Management and Thunderbird graduate Debra Wheat ‘10, Thunderbird became a founding partner of The Oath Project. This worldwide movement toward stronger business ethics promises a world where business leaders shun shortcuts that put maximum profits before long-term, sustainable prosperity.
Learn more about The Oath Project