IU Is Everywhere

From Bloomington to Bangkok, meet members of the IU family who are acting as ambassadors for the university.

Peter Tattersfield, Mexico

As president of the IU Alumni Association's Mexico chapter, Peter has been instrumental in increasing the university's engagement in the region.

Peter Tattersfield may have grown up in Mexico City, but he describes himself as an Indiana "cutter" through and through.

He was born in Bloomington while his father was a student at IU. After graduation, his father relocated to Mexico City, where he would eventually build a limestone cutting company and raise his family. When it came time for Tattersfield to choose a school, his Indiana roots led him back to his Hoosier home.

At IU, he studied finance, became a brother of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and competed in the Little 500, riding for the winning team in 1982.

"Little 500 was a huge part of my IU career," Tattersfield said. "I had an all-inclusive, fantastic collegiate career at IU. I made lasting friendships that I've carried through life and still have today." 

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Peter Tattersfield introduces Roberto Salinas-León at the O'Meara lecture on the IU Bloomington campus in late March.  Photo by Chaz Mottinger, IU Communications

After working as a scuba diver for a shipwreck exploration company in the French West Indies, earning a Master of Business Administration from Thunderbird University and spending two years working in San Francisco, Tattersfield made his way back to Mexico City to join his father in stonecutting.

He spent 15 years with the family business, leading the factory on the Yucatan peninsula for seven of those years. While his work kept him living in Mexico, it also gave him reason to occasionally return to his Hoosier roots. Tattersfield visited Bedford, the limestone capital of Indiana, to purchase stonecutting machinery.

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Peter Tattersfield introduces high school student Jose Manuel Rivero Andreo to IU President Michael A. McRobbie.  Photo by Chaz Mottinger, IU Communications

Family matters took Tattersfield back to the States in 2007, just as the U.S. housing market was crashing. Though he got a job at a stone and granite manufacturer in Philadelphia, he knew it might be in his best interest to explore other career options. After reading Tom Friedman's book "The World Is Flat," Tattersfield set his sights on renewable energy.

Through research and networking, he secured a position as head of the Northeast region of turbine factories for Gamesa, a renewable energy company. Within a year Tattersfield was transferred back to Mexico City to head up the company's Latin American division, overseeing 34 wind farms in 13 countries like the Galapagos Islands and Cuba.

Throughout his career, Tattersfield has credited the skills he gained at IU for his success. That's why he's has been carrying the IU banner abroad as the Mexico IU Alumni Association chapter president and enthusiastic recruiter. Tattersfield recently returned to campus for the Patrick O'Meara International Lecture by the president of the Mexico Business Forum, Roberto Salinas-León. He brought with him four high school seniors from Mexico City, including his daughter.

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Petter Tattersfield celebrates the launch of the IU Alumni Association's Mexico chapter with IU President Michael A. McRobbie in August 2016. Photo courtesy of the Office of the President

Not all Mexico City students have the opportunity to travel to campus, which makes the IU Mexico Gateway set to officially open in May instrumental, Tattersfield said.

"The easiest selling point for prospective students is bringing them here and having them walk on the campus, so what we have to do is take a little bit of the campus and put it in Mexico City," he said.

Beyond helping with student recruitment, Tattersfield believes the gateway will strengthen partnerships between IU and Mexican universities and between the United States and the nation of Mexico.

"The gateway will provide for educational exchange, cultural exchange and athletic exchange between our two great countries," he said. "These exchanges will help build a bridge over any wall that may be built between them."