About TIAA Memberships

By Alumni. For Alumni.

Your Membership Matters.

Thunderbird alumni have a strong connection with each other, therefore, the Thunderbird Independent Alumni Association, TIAA, has been created By Alumni, For Alumni.  TIAA exists as a 501c3 membership dues-based alumni association. TIAA is not governed or funded by ASU/Thunderbird ("the School"), and operates entirely independently of the School and its alumni offices. The School manages the Thunderbird Alumni chapters that host the regular "First Tuesday" events around the globe. Membership in any School alumni chapter is entirely separate from a global TIAA membership. It is unusual to form an alumni association that is not administered by the School that graduates its members; for a detailed explanation of TIAA's origins, visit "Who We Are" from the home page.  


The Thunderbird School of Global Management (Thunderbird) became a unit of the Arizona State University (ASU) enterprise in 2016. Since that change, ASU has also developed an undergraduate level Thunderbird program. In light of these changes, TIAA's mission has become even more critical to serve the unique needs of Thunderbird Master's level alumni in their years after graduation while continuing to look for ways to influence the long-term direction of the School's graduate-level Thunderbird program.  TIAA’s first and foremost goal is to build and nurture a globally-minded and globally-operative alumni community that supports and takes into account the needs of all Master's level Thunderbird alumni.

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TIAA offers multiple membership levels to Master's level Thunderbird graduates and stakeholders with varying fee structures and benefits (see chart below). Most paid memberships include voting rights. TIAA voting members have standing and influence over the future direction of the association through their vote and volunteer participation. Voting membership is based on receiving a degree from our alma mater, Thunderbird, School of Global Management (Thunderbird or the School, a unit of the ASU enterprise) and being a member of TIAA in good standing.  Thunderbird has offered education through many other programs, such as Executive Education (which awards certificates for short-term coursework instead of fuel 40+ credit hour degrees), and we have included areas within our structure for the important participation of these groups.


Download our:

Alumni Membership Brochure (2-sided tri-fold)

Current Student Membership Brochure (2-sided bi-fold)


Membership is not transferable to any individual or business/organization.  All dues paid to the Association are non-refundable.

Voting Membership

Voting membership in good standing comes with the right and the ability to influence the direction of the Association.  Over the recent year of 2013, Thunderbird alumni have learned the importance of having standing in a non-profit organization and the effect that has on their ability to influence the decisions made.  TIAA has been established as a membership, non-profit organization that gives alumni a sense of ownership and a legal standing to influence the organization itself.  


A voting membership for members of TIAA with Thunderbird degrees includes the ability to influence the short and long term direction of TIAA.  Some examples of what TIAA members will be voting on include ratification of new members to the Board of Directors and ratifications to any changes proposed to the bylaws. Vote majorities and further information about voting rights may be found in the by-laws of TIAA.



1.       Graduate from Thunderbird School of Global Management (Graduation confirmed via MTB verification or through proof of diploma)

a.        Must be through a Graduate Degree Program.

                                i.  This includes but is not limited to the MIM, MBA, MGM, EMBA, EMGM, MA and MS programs, offered both online and on-campus.

                                ii.   Or those programs offered prior to the MIM

b.       Certificate recipients are not eligible.

c.        Executive Education (Corporate Learning) program recipients are not eligible. Executive Education is not a degree-offering unit, unlike the "Executive MBA/MIM/MGM" (EMBA) programs which ARE degree-offering programs that fall under 1a above.

2.       Registration on TIAA Community Platform with updated Employment and contact information.


Note, Current Student Members, Legacy "All Alumni," and Friends & Faculty members are not voting members


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Benefits by Paid Membership Level:
If you are an "All Alumni" member, meaning you hold a no-fee membership created when TIAA first launched, you must upgrade to a fee-based membership level to gain access to these benefits. These no-fee "All Alumni" memberships are no longer available. Download our full Alumni membership brochure here. 


Rev. April 2018


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How does TIAA use member dues payments?

Special Notes about Dues

  • Membership in the Thunderbird Independent Alumni Association may be tax-deductible, thereby reducing your tax bill each year. Check with your tax advisor if you are able to enjoy this perk.
  • In-kind donations, while appreciated, will not be attributed to dues payments. 
  • Dues will be processed and managed through the dedicated online community.  Annual, Premier and Faculty & Friends membership levels will renew automatically at the end of each term.  If for some reason, a member experiences a lapse in their payment of dues, their membership will be listed as “inactive” until payment is made.


Use of Funds

A percentage of the dues will be allocated to:

1.       General operating fund of the TIAA, including but not limited to

a.      employee salaries,

b.      email platform,

c.      insurance,

d.      legal fees,

e.      office expenses, including utilities, office lease, etc., that give TIAA a physical presence,

f.       website support and hosting, and

g.      accounting and yearly reporting.

2.       Alumni engagement and support, including but not limited to

a.      online community and CRM system plus its maintenance fees,

b.      subscriptions to research platforms such as CASE etc.,

c.      sponsored events, and

d.      club and chapter engagement opportunities.

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Membership Level Descriptions 

Annual, Recent Grad,Premier and Lifetime:  This group will consist of the core degree holders from Thunderbird (certificate holders should enroll under the Faculty & Friends member level).  Ranging from the Executive MBA, to the MIM, the MBA, MA/MS, and other graduate degree holding programs, this group forms the 40,000+ constituents that Thunderbird alumni represent. ThunderCouple memberships are available at the Annual, Premier and Lifetime membership levels.


ThunderCouple Memberships:  For some alumni, Thunderbird enhanced their life much further than just education.  Over the years, the term ThunderCouple was coined.  For these special married couples, TIAA has created an exceptional pricing plan similar to many other great alumni organizations such as the Texas Exes of the University of Austin. Enrollment is based on legal marriage at the time of signup. Proof of marriage required. Both partners have the same voting rights based on membership level. Each member of the ThunderCouple must register separately. 


Recent Grad: It can take time to transition from "student" to "professional."  The Recent Grade membership recognizes this transitional period by offering a 12 months of paid TIAA membership benefits at a low introductory rate. The fee for a Recent Grad membership is always the current four-digit year divided by $100. In other words, in 2018, alumni whose TIAA join date is less than 12 months after their Tbird graduation date can purchase a Recent Grad membership for $20.18. In 2019, the Recent Grad membership will increase to $20.19.  After 12 months at this low introductory rate, Recent Grad members must upgrade to an Annual, Premier or Lifetime membership. Each upgrade gives you access to additional TIAA member benefits.


Faculty and Friends:  Thunderbird faculty and friends is a special category created for important constituents of Thunderbird.  The faculty we had during our education at Thunderbird helped shape the direction we took upon graduation.  They remain an important part of Thunderbird alumni future growth and in turn TIAA would like to ensure the alumni are also supporting the faculty in research projects and student networking.  Friends of Thunderbird could represent a large variety of constituents but is specifically directed to family members of alumni and Executive Education certificate holders, such as those who have completed short training courses with ExxonMobil, McDonalds, Merck, RasGas, Saudi Aramco, American Express, or Raytheon.


Business Membership (1-year term)* **  Available to all companies who value the network and the need to build a stronger, international relationship.  This membership will be a great way to showcase companies to alumni and also bring job recruitment to a select group of the best international business graduates.


  • business spotlight on the TIAA homepage,
  • ability to provide giveaways at TIAA sponsored events,
  • ability to post for job placement through the TIAA job board, and
  • special recognition in the TIAA Annual Report to members.

 * Thunderbird Independent Alumni Association (TIAA) reserves the right to deny any advertisement that we deem inappropriate for endorsement.

** Thunderbird Independent Alumni Association (TIAA) reserves the right to deny any business/organization a business membership that we deem inappropriate for endorsement.

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Current Student: Download our Current Student membership brochure here. Thunderbird Master's level students (only) are eligible to enroll for a one-year TIAA Current Student Membership for no fee while they complete their degree programs. Current Student Memberships have limited TIAA member benefits. If that one-year term expires prior to their Thunderbird graduation, they may submit a request to admin@tiaaglobal.org to re-enroll for up to 12 more months of Current Student Membership. Undergraduate students are not eligible to join TIAA.


No later than one year after Thunderbird graduation, TIAA Student membership must be upgraded to a fee-based level in order to maintain TIAA member standing. Paid memberships grant access to additional TIAA member benefits. 


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