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Posts tagged ‘rugby alumni weekend’


TARA May 2015 Newsletter

Michael Santee ’09, age 36 of Chandler, Arizona passed away on Thursday, April 2, 2015 unexpectedly from a stroke caused by an undiagnosed brain tumor. Michael is survived by his mother, Alice Santee and his father, Mark Santee and Stepmother, Betty Santee, his brother, Mark Santee Jr., and nieces: Amber Lee, Alisha, and Ashley, as well as his aunts, uncles, and cousins.

He was a graduate of Arizona State University in economics, and a graduate of Thunderbird School of Global Management in Finance. He enjoyed playing football during his high school years at Brophy College Preparatory until he graduated in 1997. During his years at Thunderbird, he became a dedicated and passionate rugby player for the school’s club team and went on to join the Camelback Rugby Football Club. Michael was also a former firefighter of the 777 Handcrew out of Boulder City, NV – Lake Mead National Park. He spent his life being a ‘man for others’ through his commitment to family, friends and faith.

“Michael Santee was celebrated and memorialized at the Brophy chapel in Phoenix on Saturday, April 18th. Mike’s family was presented with a rugby ball signed by Mike’s teammates on the Thunderbird and Camelback rugby clubs. Brett Collins (’07), a Thunderbird rugger and Brophy classmate of Mike’s gave the eulogy. Brett is the man that convinced Mike to start playing rugby. Anyone that played with Mike remembers his passion for the game. Brett told a touching anecdote: Mike originally played at hooker, but his pace and tackling quickly moved him to the centers. Though Mike loved every position, he always preferred playing with the forwards because when playing with the forwards, he was thought of as a big guy. That story made everyone laugh, as Mike was the perfect hooker, when the props bound in and squeezed, Mike’s feet were probably off the ground. What he lacked in height he made up for with intensity.”

The outpouring of affection for Mike was representative of the bond ruggers develop. The chapel was packed with family, friends, and teammates. It is a tragedy we lost one of our brothers so soon.

TARA is working with the current team leadership on a memorial tile for Mike on the rugby shed. More details to follow.

RAW 2015 was another huge success. 60 Old Boys came to town, this time with a plan to win.

The weekend began as usual, on Thursday as the Old Boys drifted into town, golfing, hitting the spring baseball games, and ending up at the pub. Friday some more of the same, as well as a trip to the Ben Avery shooting range with range master Ed Decker. Friday wrapped up with the usual TARA Social, which included whiskey and cigar tasting, and speed networking between the students and Old Boys.

The game was spirited on both sides, but the Old Boys were dominant, finishing 64 to 12. Post-match, the revelry made its way to the fish to finish the afternoon. The banquet was equally successful, with $3,000 raised through donations and the rugby auction.

RAW 2016 will be the 40th anniversary of Thunderbird Rugby, with a huge turnout by the Founders. All classes stay tuned!

Mojito Tour II!

September 5-12, 2015 will see the Thunderbird Old Boys return Cuba for. 2-match goodwill tour. 4 days in Havana, seeing sites like the Buena Vista Social Club, a cigar factory, and a tour of Old Havana. 2 days at Varadero Beach to recuperate.

The Old Boys are seeking sponsorships to help defray the cost of tour gear and the give-aways we present to the opposing sides.

$2,000 corporate sponsorship puts your corporate logo on the front center chest of the tour jersey, as well as the back of the tour t-shirt. These jerseys and t-shirts will end up all over the U.S. And the world.

$1,000 corporate sponsorship will land the corporate logo on the back of the tour jersey, below the number, as well as the back of the tour t-shirt. These jerseys and t-shirts will end up all over the U.S. And the world.

$500 corporate sponsorship will place the corporate logo on the back of the tour t-shirt. These t-shirts will end up all over the U.S. And the world.

$100 ‘Injured Reserve’ sponsorship earns the sponsor the following:

Headshot in the tour program

1 tour t-shirt

1 tour beer opener

If you are interested in any of these levels, please contact me at:

For ‘Injured Reserve’ payment can be made via PayPal to: ‘’, ‘friends and family’. Please include your shipping address and shirt size.

Special Request:

Reach out to 2 of your old teammates, and ask them if they got this newsletter. If they did not, I don’t have a good email for them. Please collect it and forward it to me. I am missing about 250 out of the 1,000 total Old Boys and would like to get them back in the loop. We all know RAW is more fun when more Old Boys attend!


Chuck Hamilton ’91


Thunderbird Alumni Rugby Association



RAW 2015 March 5-8

If you didn’t attend RAW last year, READ THIS!:

Guys, we are having too much fun for just 70+ old ruggers to keep to themselves. Put RAW 2015(March 5-8) on your calendars and start calling your old teammates. We have golf, BEER, sunshine, spring baseball, BEER, skeet shooting, parties, food, BEER, a rugby match, and BEER. No exams! No IPE! No IF&T! There is NO downside! Get down to Glendale and relive the glory days of being on campus. Let’s make RAW 2015 a blowout with 100+ Rugby Alumni!

Thursday 3/5: Plenty of golf for those so inclined, spring training baseball for others. Thursday night includes Pub Night, where the Rugby Alumni own the Pub, four deep along the length of the bar.

Friday 3/6: More golf, as well as skeet shooting with Range Master Ed Decker ’90.

The Friday night TARA Social at the Pub will include our usual speed networking with the student club. It may also take place at the ‘Old Pub’, and include cigar and whiskey tasting, courtesy of the student club. Pending scheduling, the new CEO and Director General of Thunderbird, Allen Morrison will attend as well.

Saturday 3/7: Rugby Day! The match will be on the Pitch at 1pm. Post-match will be poolside at the Fish. The Rugby Banquet/Auction will be in the usual location, just off the Commons. If you have interesting Rugby items to donate to the Auction, please bring them with you or make arrangements to get them there!

Bring a teammate that didn’t come last year. (Rocket doesn’t count. I want Metcalfe/Turbo/Evil Dave/Not-so-evil Phil/Brian Tague/Grant DeBruin/Steve Franklin and others from across the years).

Upcoming Reunion years for RAW 2015 (March 5-8):

· 2010 – 5 years

· 2005 – 10 years

· 2000 – 15 years

· 1995 – 20 years

· 1990 – 25 years

· 1985 – 30 years

· 1980 – 35 years


RAW 2014 Schedule of Events

Thursday, Feb 27:

Old Boys Arrive. Golf, spring baseball, Pub Night

Friday, Feb 28:

Firearms Friday/Skeet, more golf, spring baseball, etc.

6pm, TARA Social at The Pub. Gather in the Pool Room for announcements, State of the School, speed networking. Scheduled guest speaker, Dr. Larry Penley, Thunderbird President

Saturday, Mar 1:

1pm, Rugby Match, Alumni v. Students. Post-match at the campus pool

6pm, Rugby Banquet at The Commons. Prime rib dinner, awards, auction

Retire to The Pub


Rugby Alumni Match 2013 Results

The current students emerged victorious 58-5! Match report to follow.

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