We are family: TU graduates three sets of siblings

By Jan Lucas on May 21, 2017

Three pairs of siblings, including twins, will graduate at Commencement.

From left: Lindsey Hall Wilhelm, Savannah Wilhelm, Hillary (Livingston) Giddings, Chris Livingston, Kenya Colbert, and Khera Colbert.
From left: Lindsey Hall Wilhelm, Savannah Wilhelm, Hillary (Livingston) Giddings, Chris Livingston, Kenya Colbert, and Khera Colbert.

It’s said that siblings know us better than anyone except our mothers and fathers.
Through the great and not-so-great times, they’ve been playmates, classmates, housemates and steadfast fans.

So it’s worth noting that six graduating students will be celebrating brother- and sisterhood in addition to the thrill of crossing the stage at Towson University's Spring 2017 Commencement.

Here’s to the soon-to-be alumni who have parents—and TU—in common.      

The Colbert twins
Kenya (L) and Khera Colbert

Kenya Colbert, B.S. in DEAF STUDIES
Khera Colbert, B.S. in DEAF STUDIES

They’re fraternal twins, though others often assume they’re identical.    

As children growing up in Forestville, Maryland, the sisters found inspiration in an aunt who interpreted for the deaf, leading both to major in deaf studies at TU. (They parted ways on minors: Kenya opted for information systems; Khera chose business administration.) Their long list of campus activities includes serving as Homecoming co-directors as well as deaf studies peer advisers. Khera is a resident assistant in Newell Hall; Kenya is a community center manager at Barton House. (As a member of COFAC’s event staff, Kenya also worked as a ticket agent.) Both will interpret the national anthem and the alma mater at separate Commencement ceremonies. The sisters plan to spend this summer in Siena, Italy, studying Italian Sign Language and Italian deaf culture at the Siena School for Liberal Arts. “I know it’s a cliché,” Khera says, “but Kenya really is my best friend.”

Hillary and Christopher Livingston
Hillary (Livingston) Giddings and Christopher Livingston

Hillary Livingston Giddings, M.S. in human resources  
Christopher Livingston, B.S. in electronic media & film

These two are a mutual admiration society. Hillary says, “I’m really proud of the person he is today.” Chris admits, “We’ve butted heads, but I don’t know what I’d do without her.” The Bel Air, Maryland, natives say they were always partial to TU because their mom is an alumna. Hillary earned a B.S. in psychology from TU and took a job at her alma mater; Chris transferred from community college two years later. “The EMF program looked great,” he explains. Hillary worked and pursued her master’s part-time while Chris completed his bachelor’s and interned at WBAL-TV. “Hectic schedules kept us from seeing much of each other on campus,” says Hillary, “so we’d catch up in Bel Air.” Now a special projects and events coordinator in the Office of the Provost, Hillary and her husband are expecting a baby in September. Chris, meanwhile, is hoping for a career as a sports TV producer— and looking forward to being an uncle. “I can’t wait,” he says.

Savannah and Lindsey Wilhelm
Lindsey Hall Wilhelm (L) and Savannah Wilhelm

LINDSEY HALL WILHELM, B.S. IN SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY AND AUDIOLOGY
Savannah Wilhelm, B.S. in economics and political science (dual major) 

Lindsey is a bit older, but Savannah beat her to TU. Although Lindsey applied to the university after high school, she decided instead to attend community college near the sisters’ hometown of Columbia, Maryland. But after visiting Savannah during her first two years on campus, Lindsey found she shared her sister’s appreciation for TU. She transferred after earning her associate degree and commuted to classes. Meanwhile, Savannah continued to excel as an honors student, presenting papers at prestigious conferences and earning the Beulah M. Price Memorial Scholarship. (Not surprisingly, she is among the graduates chosen to speak at one of next week’s Commencement ceremonies.) Lindsey will pursue a master’s in speech-language pathology at TU next fall; Savannah is joining a consulting firm in Manhattan. The two have grown closer at TU. “Savannah and I attended different high schools for three years,” Lindsey explains. “So being able to spend this much time together has been great.”