They may be identical twins, but they are far from the same person. One is an accomplished student-athlete on the Longwood women’s basketball team; the other is one of the most involved students on campus, a member of several organizations and community-based groups.
One place where they are the same, though, is in the classroom.
Kate and Kellen Spradlin became the first pair of identical twins to be awarded the Sally Hargrett Barksdale ’21 Prize for Academic Excellence at Longwood’s 2019 Undergraduate Commencement, an award given to the graduating senior with the highest grade-point average. They shared the prize with senior chemistry major Zachary Morgan. Both Spradlin sisters and Morgan earned perfect 4.0 GPAs during their Longwood careers.
“Being named a valedictorian is really great, but it’s even more special that I get to share it with my sister,” said Kellen. “We’ve done so much together—even taken several classes with each other—and really helped each other push through the times when it was difficult. I’m just so glad that we decided to go to Longwood, and I’m really proud we made it here together.”
There’s a lot to balance when you are trying to excel both on the court and in the classroom, and having a support system in place, especially with your family, was really important.Kellen Spradlin '19 Tweet This
“We really are best friends,” said Kate. “I got engaged about a month ago, and the first thing I did was ask Kellen to be my maid of honor. I’ve had to rely on her a lot, especially being a student-athlete. There’s a lot to balance when you are trying to excel both on the court and in the classroom, and having a support system in place, especially with your family, was really important.”
The twins, both business administration majors, were also roommates until December, when Kellen finished her coursework early and began working at Parallon, a health care revenue cycle provider in Richmond.
“We just love being around each other,” said Kellen. “It’s been that way since we were little—everyone used to say how inseparable we were growing up. She’s just my favorite person in the world.”
Kellen quickly developed a rapport with other people in the office and became someone we could trust and rely on to do a task quickly and correctly. She’s going to go on to do great things.Penny Pairet, director of donor relations Tweet This
While at Longwood, Kellen Spradlin was heavily involved in both on-campus organizations and community-based services. She served as chapter president of Alpha Delta Pi sorority while serving on the Longwood University Conduct Board, interning in the Office of Institutional Advancement and working as treasurer for the club basketball team. In the community, she was a regular volunteer at FACES, the local food pantry, and tutored students at Prince Edward Elementary School.
“Kellen was one of the best students I’ve ever worked with,” said Penny Pairet, director of donor relations, who supervised Spradlin while she interned in the Office of Institutional Advancement. “She was extraordinarily organized, attentive and a creative problem-solver. She quickly developed a rapport with other people in the office and became someone we could trust and rely on to do a task quickly and correctly. She’s going to go on to do great things.”
I’m just so glad that we decided to go to Longwood, and I’m really proud we made it here together.Kellen Spradlin '19 Tweet This
Earlier this week, Kate Spradlin became the first Longwood athlete to earn the Big South’s George A. Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence, the highest academic honor the conference bestows. A 2017-18 Big South All-Academic Team member, Kate Spradlin was named to Longwood’s President’s List in all of her eight semesters and is a three-time member of the Big South Presidential Honor Roll.
“Kate has excelled on a broad scale at Longwood,” said Rebecca Tillett, head women’s basketball coach. “She is the true epitome of what a student-athlete should represent. In organizations, we often set standards. Kate exceeds the most noble standards in no small part because of her high level of character. When I first arrived at Longwood, members of the university community would stop me to talk about what an impressive person Kate is. I heard stories of her academic prowess, work ethic and the endless hours she put in at the gym. After experiencing it firsthand, I remain grateful that she spent her senior season with us. Kate Spradlin is Longwood, and she has left an enduring mark. She is forever a Lancer. I can’t wait to see her back for the 2020 alumnae game!”
Now that they have walked across the commencement stage, the sisters will stick by each other’s sides once more. Both will head to St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia to pursue graduate degrees. Kate will pursue a master’s in financial services while Kellen will study health administration.