Even before she came to the Mount Allison, Maggie MacNeil already had a role model to look up to — her older sister Mary Emma is a fourth-year student at Mount Allison, highly involved in the University’s Students’ Union. Both parents and an aunt are also alumni.
“I was well aware of the atmosphere Mount Allison had to offer,” says MacNeil. “I always knew Mount Allison was the university for me.”
She’s also known what she wanted to choose as her major.
“Studying biology was an easy decision, as my childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian remains. I have always had a love for science and animals,” says MacNeil. She’s also taking music classes to fulfill her other passion.
Mount Allison’s size and community also seemed familiar to someone who hailed from a small community herself.
“I grew up in a rural area of Cape Breton, called Beaver Cove, located along the Bras d’Or Lakes. I attended Rankin School of the Narrows, a small school with a total of 128 students from Grades primary to 12. Mount A was the perfect fit for me as I was transitioning from a small school,” she says.
MacNeil is a recipient of the Bell Achievement Award, one of the University’s top entrance awards. Since arriving, she has thrown herself into the community through her extracurricular activities. She’s joined the cross-country running team and recently completed the Hypothermic Half Marathon in nearby Moncton. She also participates on the intramural soccer and basketball teams. She joined the Wildlife Club, where she volunteers at the Atlantic Wildlife Institute. She also joined the Choral Society this term.
All these activities have confirmed MacNeil’s new sense of identity as a Mount A student.
“Mount Allison is not just a place to study, it is a complete community where all of the students work and live together. Because Sackville is a small town, students organize many different social activities that give us the chance to meet and know everyone who attends the university. There is a great sense of belonging and friendship at Mount Allison,” she says.