Over 25 years, one whole family went to the same college—here’s why they love it


North Alabama family smiling
This North Alabama family has found a school where they all can thrive. (Village Fox Media / Hville Blast)

You don’t hear this often—every member of this North Alabama family went to the same college, and it wasn’t a large SEC school.

It was the college where mom and dad met, and now the place where their two daughters can thrive. Read on to learn why they came to love The University of North Alabama + why it might be right for you too.

This is why the Smith family calls UNA home. (Village Fox Media / Hville Blast)

Mom and dad met at UNA

Mom and dad
Tailgating at UNA football games has been a tradition for years for the Smith family. (Ashley Smith)

In 1995, a young Huntsville native named Ashley stepped onto the campus of her dream school—The University of North Alabama. She could’ve never anticipated how choosing UNA would change the course of her life.

Three years later, she would meet her husband, Micah, at the university, and they would marry in 2001. Within a few years, they would bring two daughters into the world whose love for UNA would rival their own.

Looking for a place where your family can thrive? Apply to UNA today and check out the new family portal—the new one-spot resource for every University of North Alabama family.

University of North Alabama - Fall 2023

UNA football games are a family event

North Alabama family at UNA game
This North Alabama family has always prioritized family events, and UNA has been a huge part of that. (Ashley Smith)

Most teenagers want to leave the nest upon graduation and experience college at a large SEC school or farther afield. However, that’s not the case for Abby (left) and Mollie (right)—the daughters of Micah and Ashley Smith.

They grew up going to UNA football games, dressing up as cheerleaders and cheering on The Lions—and they still can’t get enough of UNA. This fall, Abby will enter her junior year at The University of North Alabama, and Mollie will start her freshman year.

Their decision to go to UNA wasn’t merely one of convenience and familiarity—the school was a standout in all aspects.

“We were looking for a school that was big enough to have that feeling of going away to a larger school but with small enough classes, where the faculty has personal relationship with each student. That has been our experience with UNA—the faculty and the professors 100% have a personal relationship with each student. They know them by name, reach out to them and are inclusive. We’ve been really pleased.”

Ashley Smith, UNA Graduate, 1999

UNA checked all the boxes for this North Alabama family, and it may be the right school for you too! Apply today and check out the new UNA family portal.

University of North Alabama - Fall 2023

Why UNA?

North Alabama family walking on UNA campus
This Smith family has found a university that doubles as a home. (Village Fox Media / Hville Blast)

If you’re helping your child decide where they should attend college, we have good news for you. The University of North Alabama has a new online family portal, designed to be an invaluable resource for families and students.

This web page grants families the resources they need to help their child thrive in college. Although the process of finding the right college for your child may be difficult, the rewards far outweigh the hardships when you find the place they can call home.

“I would encourage families to focus on their own child’s unique strengths and where that particular child would be the most comfortable while also considering the financial factor. Make a list of the schools that you’re you’re all interested in, go visit them, but don’t cross off the small schools just because you think the big SEC schools are the only way to go. You’ll find that UNA offers an intimate personal hometown feel that the other schools may not offer, while still being one of the fastest growing colleges in the state of Alabama.”

Ashley Smith
University of North Alabama - Fall 2023

Continuing the legacy

Daughters when young at UNA game
UNA makes the touring process easy and welcoming, and this North Alabama family can testify to that. (Ashley Smith)

Not many college students can say they daily walk the halls where mom and dad met. Abby and Mollie are continuing the legacy of their parents, all while forging their own paths at The University of North Alabama.

Abby, a junior, is currently studying education and was originally attracted to UNA’s program because it’s one of the best in the state. This year, Mollie will enter her freshman year and choose her unique path of study.

Even though they live in Florence, Micah and Ashley encouraged their daughters to live on campus to experience UNA to the fullest capacity. The admissions staff at The University of North Alabama could not have been more helpful during their application process.

“From the moment of applying to calling and taking tours—everything was very easy to navigate. The Office of Admissions at UNA is very friendly and welcoming. Mollie has been working in the Office of Admissions this past year through the launch program at Florence high school, and she has really enjoyed it and learned a lot. They made the touring process a fun experience for the whole family.”

Ashley Smith

You can be like the Smiths and find the university where your family can thrive. Apply to UNA today and check out the UNA family portal!

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University of North Alabama
Lacey Spear
Lacey Spear
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