Identical twins Kirstie and Kristie Bronner. Photo courtesy of Bronner family.
By Kunbi Tinuoye
A pair of identical twins at Spelman College in Atlanta have achieved a first in the school’s 132-year history.
Kirstie and Kristie Bronner, both music majors, have been named co-valedictorians for the class of 2013.
The sisters will each graduate with a perfect 4.0 GPA, the highest grade point average out of more than 500 graduates.
“I am excited, humbled and honored,” says Kirstie Bronner. “Although we prayed for this at high school, I didn’t quite expect it at college.”
The Bronners, who are 22 years old, attribute their academic excellence to a rigorous study routine, time management and their shared faith. “We had a commitment to excellence,” says Kristie Bronner. “It wasn’t about getting a certain grade. We always turned in our best work.”
She adds that they prayed before homework assignments and before every exam. “We can sum up our progress with the saying, ‘Work like it’s all up to you, and pray like it’s all up to God.’”
“It’s their discipline,” says Dr. Tarshia Stanley, an associate professor in the English department at Spelman, who taught the Bronners in African Diaspora and the World, a two-semester compulsory course in the freshman year.
“They are the hardest-working students I have met. They are incredibly intelligent, but they couple that with a great work ethic. Every assignment they turned in I knew was their best work.”
However, Dr. Stanley says even though the girls are extremely close, it is a mistake to lump them both together. “They are individuals with different personalities, strengths and talents,” who study together, encourage and complement each other.
The Bronners say aside from their academic success studying at the historically Black women’s college — one of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges — has given them a renewed sense of confidence and pride in their cultural heritage.
“It’s helped me establish a strong interest in my African-American culture,” says Kirstie. “I have learnt a lot about myself and my capabilities as a leader. Spelman teaches women to believe in themselves in a male-dominated world.”
“It’s an atmosphere of love and acceptance,” says Kristie. “Spelman is a place that believes strongly in leadership and serving. It’s a huge reinforcement of things that have been instilled in us all our lives.
The sisters are third-generation Spelman graduates. Their mother, Nina Cobb Bronner, graduated in 1985, and their grandmother, Dorothy Gibson Cobb, was the class of 1956.
Following graduation, the sisters, who will graduate in a few days, plan to join the youth ministry and music department at Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral in Atlanta, which is led by their father, Bishop Dale Bronner. In between their busy schedules they also plan to record a contemporary Christian CD.