The bond between siblings can be a special one, but for seniors Olivia and Victoria McDaniel, that bond is extra special. Born minutes apart, this extraordinary pair has walked the road to success side by side.
Moving to Faulkner created a new environment where each had to learn how to become their own person. The sisters created different opportunities for themselves in their majors, friend groups, and hobbies while still helping each other achieve their goals. They learned in their time at Faulkner to use each other as a support system while finding out who they want to be.
For Olivia, coming to Faulkner was an easy decision to make. She said, “I chose Faulkner because I wanted to attend a school that focused on Christian living and could teach me how to live as a Christian within my profession while helping me to grow my faith.”
The McDaniel Family is deeply rooted in the teachings of Christ, and the twins knew they wanted to be at an institution where their beliefs would be encouraged. Olivia has been involved in different efforts to make the religious life on campus grow. She helped conduct girls devotional studies, attended Tuesday night devotionals in Lester Chapel, and shows Jesus in her every day actions around campus alongside her sister.
Faulkner is the one of the only Christian schools that offers music as an extracurricular as well as an option for a major field of study, which stood out to Olivia. She focused her efforts on the French horn and used her talents to further her position in marching band to the role of drum major. This semester, Olivia completed her senior recital which showcased the efforts put forth in her music career at Faulkner.
Olivia actively participated in social club life on campus. She joined Delta Xi Omega in her sophomore year and later became president. She served as a lead in jamboree, participated in multiple club-organized volunteer opportunities, and built lasting relationships with peers and fellow Delta and Epsilon alumni. This club has allowed for Olivia to branch out from her normal way of life to make an impact on those around her.
Victoria is like her sister in her fascination for music and the arts. Although Victoria does not play an instrument in the marching band, she does perform with the Faulkner Eagles color guard. She has been a co-captain for the past two years. Using her talents in the arts as an extracurricular played an important part in Victoria’s decision to attend Faulkner.
While the twins are talented in music and arts, Victoria decided to study a different field. After some research, she decided to pursue a liberal arts degree. Finishing her undergraduate degree, she plans to obtain a masters in humanities, teach at the university level, and later receive her doctorate in English Literature.
“After being in the Great Books program, I knew it was something I wanted to do forever,” Victoria said. “I fell in love with philosophy, theology, and writing. I can’t imagine my life without books and I want to be surrounded by them forever!”
Victoria joined Phi Lambda social club in her freshman year at Faulkner and has served as their devo chair and Jamboree coordinator. She played an active role in the success of the club over the past four years, preparing service projects, being a lead her freshman year in Jamboree, and actively attending events for the clubs. The friendships she built look different from that of her sister’s in Delta, but the impact is the same.
Both sisters had encouraging and uplifting things to say about the other and how their time together on campus has impacted their lives. They said they often push each other to step out of their comfort zones, meet new people, and make connections with others as they have formed their own personal friend groups. The similarities and differences they now share at the end of their college careers have not changed the bond.
“Anyone who knows me knows that my relationship with Victoria is extremely important to me,” said Olivia. “I think it influences the relationships I have with others in that it makes me want to get closer to people in a shorter amount of time because I’m so close to her. It also means that people think that we only need each other, but it means the relationships we do have are so strong because our friends and loved ones respect that bond and realize it is so important.”
Olivia and Victoria finished their senior year and continue to go above and beyond expectations. Both recently became full time admissions counselors for the main Montgomery campus and work diligently to show potential students how much they love Faulkner University and how choosing this institution of higher learning can positively impact their lives.
There is no doubt the two will continue to use the talents God has gifted them with to benefit the people around them. Having the support of friends and family closest to them, nothing will be able to stand in the way of this dynamic duo.