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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Michael Wipper ’10

Ingleside, Illinois

Political Science and Secondary Education

Wipper credits his liberal arts education for his ability to be a dynamic individual.

Michael Wipper ’10 embraced his liberal arts education at Knox, exploring a range of different interests on campus. Now, over a decade into his career, he has continued to take on a diverse set of responsibilities, making use of his studies. 

Wipper credits his liberal arts education for his ability to be a dynamic individual. In just his first year at Knox, Wipper undertook a trip with other students during winter break to New Orleans to help rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. “That was an incredible experience to be able to jump on that and make a difference right away,” he said. 

He points to his work as a web administrator of Student Senate, where he was tasked with updating meeting minutes on the website, voiced concerns for his classmates, and became part of the larger administrative processes, such as selecting candidates to run the dining services program.

With no prior experience, Wipper also decided to try his hand at football as a third-year. He worked closely with Assistant Athletics Director Andy Gibbons to learn the game and be a part of the Prairie Fire team. “All the different activities and opportunities, it was indicative of my experience at Knox,” Wipper said. “Knox is like a microcosm of all the different opportunities that you may have in your life."

After graduation, Wipper’s career began with teaching at the Navajo Reservation in Arizona as an elementary educator. He later moved to St. Louis, exploring administrative roles before switching to a tech career at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago as a Senior Cloud DevOps engineer. He currently works as part of their financial services team responsible for providing payment services including FedACH, Check, Cash, and most recently FedNow to financial institutions across the country, ensuring they have stable currency and payment systems.

The decision to switch career paths was a big one for Wipper. However, he felt confident in his abilities to make the switch because of his experiences at Knox. "I had a lot of experience at Knox to explore technology. I took advantage of the opportunities there,” Wipper said. “Once I decided that this was the career path, it was just about accepting the opportunity that came up."

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Printed on Saturday, June 15, 2024