Magee Family Paints a Positive Picture of College Experience

Magee Family Paints a Positive Picture of College Experience

MOUNT OLIVE- Michael and Dawn Magee, along with their three children, Dane, Paige, and Carleigh, lived in Houma, Louisiana until Hurricane Katrina destroyed major portions of the state and Michael’s job. After the devastation, the Magee family packed up and moved to Goldsboro, NC for Michael’s new assignment with Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. The transition provided Dawn the opportunity return to college, which she did with the help of the University of Mount Olive.

“I was very nervous about returning to school and trying to juggle being a wife, mom and student,” she said. “However, the small class sizes and supportive professors made my decision easy. Choosing UMO turned out to be a great decision for me.”

Simultaneously, two of the Magee’s children were beginning to map out their college decisions. The parents encouraged Dane and Paige to explore all their college options. But in the end, it was Dawn’s passion and connection to the University that helped to sway both to attend UMO.

Dane transferred to the University of Mount Olive in 2011 to pursue a degree in visual communications.  One year later, Paige also committed to UMO for her higher education needs as a fine arts major.

During the fall of 2012, Dawn, Dane, and Paige were all enrolled at UMO at the same time; Dawn was a senior, Dane a sophomore, and Paige a freshman. After spending a semester with her family in the Art Department, Dawn graduated Magna Cum Laude in December of 2012 with a degree in fine arts.

“Our mom has always been one of my biggest role models,” said Paige. “Seeing her attend and graduate from college inspired Dane, Carleigh, and me to always work hard and never give up.”

Dane has since embodied his mother’s ambition and is set to graduate in the May of 2015. He would like to one day become a comic book illustrator. “I love the University of Mount Olive,” he said. “The Professors make their students feel like family, and I can honestly say the Art Department has developed me into a better person and artist.”

Paige, who is now a junior, added, “I can’t stress enough how much the Art Department has changed my life.  UMO gives me room to let my passion and gift for art grow. When art majors say the Art Department is like family, it’s no exaggeration, especially for me.”

Dawn is proud of her children for following in her footsteps and cherishes the memories they are all creating at the University of Mount Olive.

“Michael and I are very pleased with the accomplishments achieved by Dane and Paige,” explained Dawn. “We’ve been through many struggles as a family, but we have been blessed to find a place where we could all grow in our education and passion for art. It’s a unique experience to be able to have the same professors and collegiate peers as your children, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College.  For more information, visit

Pictured: Paige, Dawn, and Dane Magee all have ties to the University of Mount Olive Art and Visual Communications Department