The face behind the Wellness Center: Al Rose

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On any given day, Al Rose, the assistant director of facilities at the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center, is constantly in motion.

Meetings with student employees, checking on equipment and chatting up patrons, Rose is known as the face of the Wellness Center. As the assistant director of facilities, he is in charge of maintenance, access to the building and security. With such a variety of responsibilities, Rose describes every day as different for him, something which he doesn’t mind.

Recently, he played a key role during the expansion of the Wellness Center. Rose looks back on the massive operation and smiles.

“It went a lot smoother than I expected it to go,” he said.

A licensed airline mechanic by trade, Rose married his high school sweetheart in 1973 and has two children. He joined the university when one door closed for him and another opened.

“I started working at the University of Miami in 1989, right after Eastern Airlines went bankrupt,” Rose recalls.

He initially worked at Eaton Residential College as the zone mechanic for the campus. At this time, Rose met the current Wellness Center director Norm Parsons, who was associate residential master in Eaton at the time.

The pair became friend and regularly played racquetball.

As Parsons turning the Wellness Center into a reality, he recruited Rose for the role of developing the operational needs of the facility.

“I would trust Al with my life,” Parsons reveals. “I come to work to be with friends, and he is at the top of the list.”

Rose’s fondest memory at UM is watching his first son graduate from the School of Business Administration.

“I love everything about this department, I love the university,” Rose admits. “But watching him walk across the floor on graduation day I got really choked up. One of the reasons I came here to work was that I needed to get him through college and I knew I couldn’t afford an education here.”

Co-worker John Tallon, whom Rose describes as his “right-hand man,” credits Rose with getting him his job at the Wellness Center. Together, the pair oversee 100 student employees.

“Al Rose is a father-like figure to many of the students that work here,” Tallon explains. “He’s a guy that enjoys giving them guidance.”

In fact, according to Rose, working with students is the best part of his job. Every year, he hosts a “Lobster-Fest” in a house in Key Largo for a dozen student employees.

“It’s my thank you for all the hard work they put in for me,” Rose said. “I couldn’t survive without them, trust me.”

In the end, students and fellow employees will remember Rose for his positive and friendly attitude.

“He’s a classic example of someone who doesn’t go to work because he has to go to work,” Tallon said. “He comes to work because he loves what he does.”

Andres Correa may be contacted at acorrea@themiamihurricane.com.

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