For Michael Wallen, who worked as a customer service and dispatch agent for American Airlines for 24 years, learning time management as a student at University of Findlay studying communication and public relations as well as world religion proved useful in his career. His father, Raeburn Wallen ’56, a retired UF professor of humanities and world religion always told him that time management was the most important thing you could take away from education.
“Working for the Airlines you have to really manage your time. No delays. As with studying for a test, deadlines must be met,” he said. Wallen first developed his love for travel when his father taught UF students overseas. “I would go with him on some of the trips to the Middle East. I knew that I wanted a job in traveling and that’s what led me to American Airlines.”
Now that he’s retired from American Airlines, Wallen manages Sunrise Aviation with his wife Vicky who also worked for American Airlines for 27 years. The school, located in Jacksonville, Florida is contracted by Florida State College at Jacksonville to train military and civilian pilots to become airline transport pilots.
Growing up Wallen was exposed to the University of Findlay through both his parents. His mother Marcelene Wallen ’59 was also a graduate and distinguished alumna of the University. “The University of Findlay was a life changing choice for me,” said Wallen. “I was able to stay in my home town and meet new friends on campus. My most memorable moment at Findlay was walking through the arch and walking out. Everything in between was my college life. Walking through the Arch helped create me.” Wallen said he would encourage current students to focus on enjoying the parts between the arch ceremonies and finding the enjoyment in education.