Working on a graduate business degree in the mid-1980s at the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Ariz., Rick Knutsen became a fan of blues singer Francine Reed as she performed at local clubs and even graduation parties.
A few years after graduation, Mr. Knutsen found himself in Atlanta, where his wife, Jeanne Savelle, also a Thunderbird graduate, landed a job at Coca-Cola Co. Ms. Reed also moved to Atlanta.
For years, Mr. Knutsen and his wife would hear Ms. Reed perform at Atlanta clubs such as Blind Willie’s and Eddie’s Attic. They would sometimes talk to her about holding a fundraiser for Thunderbird in Atlanta.
With Mr. Knutsen now heading the Atlanta chapter of the Thunderbird Alumni Association, the fundraiser has been confirmed for 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Mable House Amphitheater, 5239 Floyd Road, in Mableton.
Ms. Reed, who recently returned from a tour with singer Lyle Lovett, will not perform alone. She will be joined by her mother, Girley Reed; brother, Michael Reed and sisters, Mellody Winfield and Margo Reed.
Tickets range from $25 to $75 and can be purchased here .
Proceeds will be used to fund three $5,000 scholarships to Thunderbird, said Mr. Knutsen, an Internet marketing consultant. He estimates there are from 500-750 Thunderbird alums in metro Atlanta.
Founded in 1946 on a former U.S. military air base near Phoenix, Ariz. the private school has been ranked for the last 14 years by U.S. News and World Report as the nation’s top graduate school for international business. It has locations in Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Russia, Central and South America, Singapore and China.
Thunderbird’s alumni network of about 40,000 people reaches worldwide, said Mr. Knutsen, who often encounters alums in his travels.
“Even in Mendoza, Argentina, there were two,” said Mr. Knutsen, relating a recent trip he made there with his wife on business.
For more information, e-mail Mr. Knutsen here .