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When you are truly attached to a brand, you want some swag to show it. And when something new comes out, you want that, too. During Thunderbird’s 70th Anniversary celebration in April many students, faculty, and staff were approached by alumni asking “Where’d you get that shirt?!?” While it’s a simple question to answer—a graduating class designed a class t-shirt that the School reproduced for the campus community – that really isn’t the complete answer. Like the lyrics to a great song, you’ll find more if you look a little deeper. Here’s the backstory. The BORDERLESS shirt was designed during a significant time of change, disruption, ambiguity, and uncertainty – a mystical call to a T-bird. The t-shirt is how the students responded to a transition they did not ask for and that, in all honesty, few really wanted at the time.

Tion Barnaby ’15 (TSG Vice President): “Our school had just merged with Arizona State University and a lot of students were concerned about the future of the Thunderbird Mystique. Spring ’15 TSG President Sabah Hussain pioneered the BORDERLESS shirt initiative to remind students that the future of the School’s culture and the continued existence of the Thunderbird Mystique depended on them. As TSG Vice President, it was a pleasure to work with Sabah to support this initiative; students and alumni must continue to represent the School and have pride in the fact that we will always be Thunderbirds.”

Sabah Hussain, ’15 (TSG President, Spring 2015): "The students tapped into something that generations of their predecessors connected with as well, hence, the demand. But its source of inspiration was uniquely personal for the Class of ’15 and ’16. The original goal wasn’t as grand as the impact it has had. The idea was simple: “Spring trimester of 2015 encompassed our first few months as part of ASU and saw a lot of change. To raise Thunderbird spirit and see more blue around campus, TSG held a t-shirt design contest where the winner got some #tbirdlife swag. Our last regional night of the trimester, we each took home a shirt that summed up our identity as global citizens. I still love seeing that shirt on social media!”

Today, the BORDERLESS shirt is worn by students, faculty, staff, and recent alumni all the time, not because it was a free shirt, but because it demonstrates their Thunderbird pride in a very simple – and visual – way. Yes, it is just a shirt, born from a moment in time and imbued with a global mindset. But it tells a larger story about the true identity of T-birds. We live, work and explore this globe; T-birds are the original borderless executives. Take pride in that, always, and enthusiastically wear your BORDERLESS mindset wherever your travels take you.