On paper, the University of Montevallo appeared to have all the qualities that Karen Daniel and her mother, Tracy O’Neal Daniel Lee, were searching for in a college.
But her mother still had her doubts.
“The most important factors for me were location, safety, cost and class size,” her Lee said. “Other than that, I needed to know that Karen could handle life on her own.”
Mom’s fears were alleviated as soon as they toured campus.
“I had such a peace after visiting UM’s campus,” she said.
So were Daniel’s.
“When I first visited Montevallo, I immediately felt like it was home,” Daniel said.
Now, as a full-fledged student at UM majoring in marketing, it still feels like home.
“Montevallo is special because it is not like most schools,” Daniel said. “The professors and staff all seem to make personal connections with each student. It is not something you see at bigger schools.”
Since enrolling, Daniel’s gotten involved with the Veterans Center and joined the Campus Veterans Association. She loves how the CVA is highly involved in community service – something she’s had a passion for since high school.
Daniel said being a member of UM’s student organizations has made her college experience more meaningful by allowing her to make connections and establish bonds with new people.
“Join clubs,” she said. “Any organization that you find any interest in, join it. Student organizations make being on campus super fun. They help you find a sense of ‘comfortability’ while everything within the college experience is so new.”
As Daniel continues to find success at UM and cements her own legacy, her mom couldn’t be prouder of how UM has met and even exceeded her expectations.
“Karen has blossomed passed my expectations. She has gained such a remarkable amount of confidence in herself and her abilities. Montevallo is an awesome school, and the faculty and staff truly care about our children.”