Meet Doug Backelin '78

Where do you live?

Bedford Texas, which is in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

What do you do for work currently?

I am retired from American Airlines, and am involved in some volunteer organizations. While at American Airlines and Sabre, I held numerous positions in Sales, Marketing, Revenue Management, International Planning, Systems Development, International Joint Ventures and Onboard Products to name a few. I was on the Board of Directors (and President) of APEX, a worldwide nonprofit trade association which has over 3000 members from 150 airlines, Hollywood studios and suppliers of inflight products and content.

What did you learn at IC that helped you get to where you are today (personally or professionally)?

My various studies in Business Administration were certainly foundational in preparing me for the many positions I’ve held here in the US and abroad. My two semesters at the IC London Center were truly standout life and learning experiences which I shall never forget. I took full advantage of everything the school had to offer in business and liberal arts studies.

How did you get involved with IC after graduating (did you volunteer? Did you speak in a classroom? Attend events?)

I have been an annual donor to Ithaca College for as long as I can remember. I volunteered at “college nights” at local high schools representing the school and engaging with prospective students and parents. It’s terrific that there is an active local DFW Alumni Association again, and I have attended events such as the great Cortaca game get together. In 2017, I helped organize a “friends’ reunion” to IC, including an excellent student led tour of the campus. I also make a point of visiting the IC London Center every time I’m in London.

Why do you LOVE IC?

Well, it’s true that I fell in love with Ithaca College the first time I saw the campus on my “college tour”! Beyond the beautiful campus, IC was an outstanding place to grow as a person, meet lifelong friends, and have incredible experiences.

Anything else interesting/pertinent that you’d like to include: (Are you close with other alumni? A professor you loved? Student orgs you were involved with?)

Fortunately, I have been able to stay in touch with IC friends on my business and personal trips around the country. Many people enjoyed Professor Raquib Zaman’s mentorship and friendship, including myself. Bill Shaesgreen was one of my professors in London, and I greatly enjoyed our discussions at IC London on my return trips. And, of course, Tim Kidd was legendary as the London Theater Arts professor, and London tour guide extraordinaire.