University of Texas - Austin
"Keep your head down and your eye on the ball!" - These are words of wisdom from one of TACRAO's best golfers (actually, it may be safe to say "the best TACRAO golfer of all time). But they are also words that ring true as his recommended path to success not only in our profession, but in life. Michael D. Allen, the oldest of 7 children and a Texas native, has dedicated the past 40 years of his career to helping Texas students achieve a better life through higher education. In that time he has made countless contributions to TACRAO and the admissions and registrar profession. He's also made many life-long friends in the process. Mike has been happily married to his wife Lisa for 23 years.
Mike earned his BBA in 1971 from Lamar State College of Technology, majoring in Marketing with a minor in Finance. He went on to earn an MBA from Lamar University in 1977, concentrating in Finance. He began his higher education career in 1972 as the Assistant Registrar at Central Texas Community College in Austin. Shortly afterward, in 1973, Galveston College made him an offer he couldn't refuse - he became their Registrar, holding that position for the next 9 years (I suspect it was during that time that he developed his penchant for stalking speckled trout and redfish along the Texas coast). Moving a few miles up the road, but not straying too far from his Gulf Coast hot spots, he took the position of Registrar at Alvin Community College in 1982. Two years later, the University of Texas at Austin made him another offer he couldn't refuse, making Mike their Associate Registrar in 1984. He spent the remainder of his career with the Office of the Registrar at UT Austin, serving as Interim Registrar in 2005-2006, before his retirement in June 2011.
Always the consummate professional, Mike has been an ever-present leader in TACRAO. He served our organization as Vice President for Records and Registration, and later as President Elect, President (1996), and Past President. He chaired various committees and made numerous presentations through the years, but Mike is perhaps best known for his tireless work as Chair of the Legislative Issues Committee. If a bill relating to Texas higher education was proposed in the legislature, Mike was on it like Jimmy Buffett on a Margarita (did I mention that Mike is a fantastic singer-songwriter? His all-time classic "Ain't Nothin' but a Thang" would surely have made him a star if American Idol had started 20 years ago). Under his direction, the hard-working Legislative Issues Committee kept the membership well-informed of impending laws, many of which, while well-intentioned (aren't they all?) could have wreaked havoc if they had not been headed off or modified as a result of TACRAO's influence. Mike represented TACRAO with poise and steadfastness in dealings with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Legislature, resolving many issues relevant to TACRAO members and their institutions.
Highly involved on both the regional and national level, Mike made numerous presentations at SACRAO meetings, and represented Texas well as AACRAO's Vice President for Records and Academic Services from 2001-2004. Under his leadership, the AACRAO Resource Center was established, as was AACRAO's Taxonomy of Knowledge Areas for members. Recognizing Mike's work, AACRAO Past- President Louise Lonabocker states, "establishing the Resource Center was one of the major tipping points which changed the way AACRAO membership is served." Many in our profession today owe him a great debt of gratitude for learning the ropes at one of his Registrar 101 workshops, which Mike revamped, coordinated, and conducted in 18 cities. In recognition of his contributions, Mike was selected as the first recipient of AACRAO's Tom A. Bilger Citation for Service.
Did I mention that Mike plays a little golf? A better way of putting it would be to say, woe unto he who dares enter a money game against him (even his dear friends over in College Station admit they can't beat Mike, and that's saying something.) Mike has played with the best of them, including lifelong friend Tom Kite. He is a past winner of many tournaments, including the Firecracker (1974), the Austin Men's City Championship (1987) and the Bluebonnet Cup (1994), the Texas Golf Association South Region Senior Championship 2011, and was the 2011 Austin Amateur Golf Senior player of the year. He qualified for the Texas Amateur recently at Austin Country Club, where he has been a member for 18 years, and also qualified this summer for the U.S. Senior Open at the Inverness Club in Toledo. Despite all his accomplishments on the golf course, Mike will, unfortunately, never be able to recover from one fateful day at a TACRAO scramble many years ago, where he actually got beat out in the Longest Drive competition by none other than Mr. John Hall of SMU. John will of course never let Mike forget this.
Mike has given so much to TACRAO and our members over the years that it's impossible to illustrate in this short time. He's touched the lives of countless TACRAOans for 4 decades through his mentorship, encouragement, and steadfast passion for our profession. Singer-songwriter, scratch golfer, avid fisherman, charitable event organizer, and aficionado of the finer things in life, like tequila, cigars, and artisan-crafted guitars, Mike could have gone many different directions in life, no doubt, but your friends and colleagues in TACRAO will be forever grateful to you for making our organization a focal point of your skills and talents. It's therefore my great pleasure to recognize Mike Allen's Honorary Membership in TACRAO.