Dan Lee ’13

Hometown: Austin, Texas

High School: Westwood High School

Major/Minor: History Major/ Pre-med

Activities: Korean American Student Association, Astronomy, Swing Dance, Salsa, A cappella (Stuck in the Middle)

Study Abroad? (have you, or are you planning on it, where/when?): Nope. Here All Year (HAY)

Why did you choose Middlebury?

I want to first explain that no one from Texas knows that Middlebury exists. I think most believe it to be a community college or some 3rd rate institution. If you are one of these people, please do some research and discover that Middlebury is one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation. However, I was ignorant of Middlebury and upon discovering its utter awesomeness I applied with the small hope of being admitted. But here I am. Ultimately I was deciding between Middlebury College and University of Texas of Austin (UT). I chose Middlebury because it was a small school, with an excellent rank, but above all, because it wasn’t Texas. UT would have had virtually all of my friends from high school, and I wanted to challenge myself with a new environment. I have to admit that I wanted to go to a predominantly “white” student body in order to push myself out of my comfort zone. UT has an enormous Asian student population and I did not want to take an easy route and interact only with what I was comfortable with. Not to say that Middlebury is not diverse, far from it, but as a small school in the northeast, it does not attract the sheer number of Asian students as UT. Regardless, I have found that Middlebury has provided me with everything that I initially wanted from it and more. I don’t regret my decision, and I never will.

Why/How did you choose your major?

I simply took Professor Armanios’ Early Islam and Middle East History course in the spring of my freshman year and now here I am. It was that good.

What was your biggest challenge transitioning into the college atmosphere?

Not having my usual base of friendships that I had previously cultivated. My family had just moved to New Jersey when I first came to Middlebury, and so I was unable to see my hometown friends during the breaks that are interspersed throughout the school year. Not the best circumstances for a college freshman, but it forced me to make new friends I suppose…it’s a good thing.

What is your fondest memory of Middlebury thus far?

Anxiously waiting in my room freshman year for the results of acapella auditions. Mori Rothman ’09 came into my room looking very somber and asked me to step outside to tell me something, and I am freaking out because the time at which they were supposed to notify me of whether I had gotten into Stuck in the Middle had passed over 30 minutes. When Mori pulled me outside into the hall, the entire group was there and they burst into song and congratulated me on getting into the group. I just couldn’t stop smiling that night as the entire group and I romped around campus.

What is your favorite class/Who is your favorite professor?

Early Islam and Middle East History / Professor Febe Armanios

What do you do in your spare time?

I used to nap in my spare time… but then I discovered all the clubs and organizations on campus. Now these extracurriculars have become my escape from the academic toils of Middlebury. And of course, there is an abundance of eclectic events that just pop up that I like to show up to.

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