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Horton receives Outstanding Staff Service Award

During the celebration of the University of Montevallo’s 122nd Founders’ Day, deserving faculty, staff and alumni were honored by UM. 

The University of Montevallo’s National Alumni Association recognized Mary Horton, of Montevallo, with the Outstanding Staff Service Award during the Oct. 11 celebration. 

“Mary’s dedication and hard work has helped make the University of Montevallo a richer and stronger institution,” said Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Mary Beth Armstrong. 

Horton began working at the University in 1979 as a secretary in the Graduate Studies Office. She later received a bachelor’s degree from UM in 1984, and then a masters of education in counseling and guidance in 1987. Following graduation, she worked as a records analyst at UM from 1988 to 1989 before briefly departing from the University. 

Horton returned to the University in 1995 as the administrative assistant to the provost and vice president for academic affairs, and, in 2007, she became the assistant to the provost and vice president for academic affairs, a position she has held ever since. 

Along with her application, several letters of recommendation were submitted discussing Horton’s dedication to the University, her pride in the two degrees she has received from the institution and how much she cares for both the University and its students. 

“Mary has contributed to the University of Montevallo over most of her career and has been a dedicated and outstanding professional,” wrote Armstrong. “She has impacted so many faculty, staff, students and other constituents in meaningful ways.” 

“Most often, the students who come to the provost’s office are in serious academic trouble,” wrote UM’s former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Suzanne Ozment. “While she appreciates the high standards graduates must meet, she ensures that every student receives individual, personalized attention.” 

Ozment also noted that Horton’s goal in her position is to make sure that no matter who comes into the provost’s office, they all receive the same amount and quality of attention. 

“From distraught students to aggressive vendors, from anxious parents to demanding colleagues, Mary responds to everyone with tact, sensitivity and respect. Her goal is to address the issue at hand and make sure each person feels heard,” wrote Ozment. 

Horton’s dedication to her community also set her apart for this award. She has been an active citizen of both the University and the City of Montevallo. At the University, Horton has served on numerous committees and helped with annual events such as Founders’ Day.  

In the community, she has served as a Sunday school teacher at Montevallo First Baptist Church, and has been active with many community organizations in the city such as the Cub Scouts, Montevallo High School athletics teams, the Main Street Players and a member of the Montevallo Garden Club.