We can all agree that there’s nothing better than attending James Madison University…except maybe attending it with your twin brother or sister! Facing a whole new environment alone can be terrifying for some, but having a sibling by your side provides self-assurance and comfort. Let’s take a peek into the lives of current twins attending JMU:
Seniors Tyler (left) and Tristan Williamson (right) are identical twins from Clarksville, Virginia. They both decided to attend JMU many years ago because of their love for the university. The Williamson’s are not only brothers by blood, but they are both founding brothers of Delta Phi Epsilon, the foreign service fraternity on campus. Both brothers are International Affairs majors, Tristan concentrating in European affairs and Tyler double majoring in French.
“Tyler and I get confused [on campus] so often that we practically respond to either name.”- Tristan Williamson
Camryn (left) and Leah (right) Finn, class of 2021, are from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Camryn stated that she and her sister have grown much closer during their time together at JMU. Both twins are vocal performance majors, with Camryn adding a double major in SMAD. Not only do they share a major, but they are also roommates!
“It would be a completely different experience if Leah and I didn’t attend college together. It would have probably been a lot harder to transition into college life since we are so close.” – Camryn Finn
Alex (right) and Drew Balderson (left), class of 2018, are from Tappahannock, Virginia. These brothers are pretty much inseparable in every aspect. Both were involved in JMU’s orientation process; Alex and Drew were FROGS their junior year and OPA’s as seniors. They also work together at UREC as fitness assistants. Alex stated that entering their sophomore year was the first time they had ever had their own rooms, since they always shared a bedroom at home.
“I think the best part of having your sibling at college with you is always having someone to experience new things with.”- Alex Balderson
Ashley (left) and Alysa (right) Adams, class of 2021, are from Frederick, Maryland. Both sisters have a strong interest in science, as Ashley is a Biology major and Alysa is a Health Science major. Ashley stated that she and Alysa get confused on campus almost daily. “I usually just say hi back and pretend like I know them.” said Ashley. The sisters agree that they could handle going to separate universities but they wouldn’t like it nearly as much as taking on college side-by-side.
“When you miss your family or you’re homesick it’s basically just a little reminder of a piece of home you have with you.”- Ashley Adams
The Etheridge brothers, Ryan (left) and Hunter (right) are seniors from Clayton, North Carolina. Together on and off the field, these fraternal twins play football for JMU. Hunter and Ryan went to separate private schools in Virginia but wanted to come back together for their undergraduate football careers. Hunter stated that they were attracted to JMU as a university due to both the top-tier athletics and academics. Living together in the dorms both freshman and sophomore year, Hunter said that it was different living with his twin brother in college. Not having their parents to look after them, Hunter found himself encouraging his brother to keep his room clean.
“Winning a national championship together was an amazing experience. Having my brother and the rest of my family by my side made it even more exciting.”- Hunter Etheridge
Alli (left) and Jessi (right) Pinello are seniors from Chesapeake, Virginia. When choosing colleges the twins tried really hard to consider other options besides JMU, due to the fact that both of their parents are alumni. Alli and Jessi decided to make their decisions separately and ultimately both fell in love with JMU. Both twins are involved in greek life, Jessi is in Zeta Tau Alpha and Alli is a member of Tri Sigma.
“Being able to share these four years has been a really cool experience. It is definitely something that we will be able to share for the rest of our lives.” – Alli Pinello
The only thing better than attending college with one sibling is attending it with two! Seniors from Chesapeake, Virginia- Allyson (bottom), Bridgette (left), and Collette (top) Yoder are triplets with completely different hair colors, making it very easy to tell these ladies apart on campus. Bridgette was set on attending JMU—it was the only university she applied to. However, Allyson and Collette took more time to think it over but eventually decided to follow in Bridgette’s footsteps. The sisters couldn’t be more excited to attend JMU together. “I couldn’t imagine not having easy access to Collette’s closet and Allyson’s flat iron. I always have a support system with me”, said Bridgette. As far as on campus involvement, Collette and Bridgette are both members of Tri Delta Sorority and Allyson is a founding sister of Gamma Phi Beta. Allyson felt that being in a different sorority from her sisters allowed her to grow into herself outside of who she is with her sisters.
“It’s like every night is a sleepover with your best friends!”- Collette Yoder
Dukes—if you don’t attend college with a sibling, is there someone who has made your JMU experience unforgettable? Comment below!