All in the Family

Vanessa Denice

Most people on campus feel that “Villanova” translates as “new home.” But to some people, it’s more like home than others can imagine. Many people come to ‘Nova with a piece of home already here. According to the Admissions Office, 14 percent of last year’s applicants had an alumni affiliation at Villanova. For many, that means having a sibling on campus.

Have you ever been walking around campus and thought you saw someone you knew, but then they returned your wave with a blank stare? Or have you ever seen one person in one place, and then, five minutes later, seen them in a completely different outfit? Chances are you’ve encountered one of the many sets of twins on Villanova’s campus.

Sophomores Kristen and Katie Valosky know what it’s like to be confused for each other.

“The whole telling-apart thing, I don’t care. I just feel badly when I have to correct people,” Kristen says. “People tell us that they pass us but are afraid to say hi because they don’t know which one we are. Trust me, you won’t be the first and you won’t be the last [to get us wrong].”

But there is much more to twins on campus than simply looking like each other. In fact, many sets of twins on campus participate in the same activities, have similar interests and share many of the same friends.

The Valosky twins are involved with many of the same activities, including the sophomore Service Learning Community, Service Council, Campus Ministry and Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. They say that doing the same activities is nothing new.

“We somehow always end up with the same, or similar, groups of friends,” Kristen says. “We’re not those twins who are opposites. We gravitate towards the same types [of activities].”

Twins Kristin and Kelli Imhoff, who are seniors, both have active leadership roles in Greek life. Kristin is president of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, while Kelli is president of the Pan-Hellenic Council.

“We’re both active in Greek life and in many of the same organizations,” Kelli says. “But sometimes we fight because we see each other all the time.”

Not every set of twins on the Villanova campus is as similar as the Imhoffs and the Valoskys. Despite looking alike, sophomore twins Kelly and Carly Reuther claim that they could not be more different.

“We look similar. However, our style is completely different and we have totally opposite interests,” Kelly says. “Everyone claims we sound identical and we probably have some of the same mannerisms, but I think that is the most alike we are.”

One thing that all of these sets of twins have in common is that none of them planned on going to college together. Although the Imhoff twins hoped that they would end up together, the only school they had in common was their first choice – Villanova.

Neither the Valoskys nor the Reuthers had planned on attending the same school. Like the Imhoffs, Villanova was also Kelly Reuther’s top pick.

“This was my first choice school because it was the one I liked the best, but I think Carly’s decision was more based off of the engineering program,” she says. “I had committed to coming here before she made up her mind.”

No matter what their interests and activities, all agreed that being at Villanova together improved their relationship.

“It’s made us a lot closer,” Katie Valosky says.

“We were already close before [coming here]. We realized that we really are each other’s best friend,” Kristen adds. “We can talk about things on a deeper level now.”

Being at the same college and not rooming together has also taken Kelly and Carly’s relationship to another level.

“Because you have lived with her your entire life and been involved in a lot of the same activities, you get annoyed with her so easily,” Kelly says. “But now it’s fun because we don’t know everything about each other’s lives, so we have something to talk about. We get along a lot better than in high school.”

Besides several sets of twins on campus, there are also many groups of siblings.

Freshman Kyra Limberakis joined her older brother, senior Jonathan, when she enrolled at Villanova. And she will be the first to admit that she had never planned on attending the same school as her brother – until she came to visit.

“I didn’t really like Villanova at first, but when I visited him, I saw a different side of Villanova,” Kyra says. “I saw it wasn’t like that [stereotype].”

Jonathan also thinks that his love for the Villanova community probably influenced his sister’s perception of the school and her final decision.

“I think, indirectly, she realized how much I love this school, so that may have influenced her more than any words of encouragement I could have said,” Jonathan says.

For sophomore Joey Bagnasco, his junior sister Angela’s presence at Villanova had no influence over his decision. It was merely the best academic school that he got into and liked. He and Angela say they see each other about once a week, just to catch up. Other than that, they lead their lives separately and try to remain individuals.

Sisters Laura and Nicole Cross choose to be as close as possible while in college. Nicole, who graduated from Villanova last year but is continuing her studies as a Villanova graduate student, kept her apartment and is living with Laura, a sophomore. They both participate in the dance company and regularly go out for dinner and to see movies.

While some students view college as an opportunity for independence, there is no denying that these Villanova students love having a sibling to share the experience with. While keeping their individuality and having their own personal adventures, these siblings remain as close as ever and see being at college together as a positive aspect.

“She and I have as good of a relationship as any set of siblings could have, and neither of us would want that to change,” Jonathan says. “I’m sure that in the future it will only strengthen, because we have that Villanova bond that will never leave us.”