Rachel, Isaac (middle) and Emma King hold their diplomas after Sunday's commencement ceremony at Eastern Mennonite University. The siblings, from West Unity, Ohio, have diverse interests that attracted them to the same campus. All three plan to stay in Harrisonburg, at least for the short-term.

Triplet grads, hailing from Ohio with diverse interests, ‘chose individually’ to come to EMU

Just how exactly does a set of triplets from northwest Ohio end up graduating from Eastern Mennonite University?

“We chose individually,” Rachel King said.

Finishing her sister’s thoughts as she often does, Emma King agreed.

“Yeah, we didn’t come because each other came,” she said. “That was a small factor.”

Together with their brother, Isaac, the 22-year-olds were three of the 486 students to walk across the stage at Yoder Arena Sunday afternoon for Eastern Mennonite’s 97th annual commencement ceremony.

Emma King said she came to EMU because of its prestigious communication program. She joked that another draw was its distance from their hometown of West Unity, Ohio.

Although the triplets share a common genetic sequence and alma mater, they differ in their interests.

Isaac King graduated with a degree in biochemistry, while Rachel King studied biology and Emma King majored in digital media and communications.

The Kings also traveled to different countries for the university’s cross-cultural exchange program.

Emma King visited China; Rachel traveled to Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, and Isaac went to Israel and Palestine.

Isaac King said the exchange program sticks out in his mind as one of his favorite experiences while at EMU.

“I’m pretty sure for all three of us it was pretty transformative,” he said. “It put a lasting impression on all of us.”

All three plan to stick around Harrisonburg.

Emma King will be working on an internship at EMU, while her sister and brother will assist the university’s science faculty on research projects. Rachel King and her brother said they eventually plan to attend graduate school.

The siblings said that upon arriving at EMU, they intentionally didn’t tell people at first that they were triplets, because back home they were always referred to as “the triplets” or “the Kings.”

“And then, this is kind of funny, because we didn’t tell people we were siblings, and they mistakenly would assume they were dating,” Rachel King said about her brother and sister, “which is kind of unfortunate.”

Despite the awkward run-ins that came with being triplets, she said having her two siblings on campus helped her adjust to college life.

“Home is 8 1/2 hours away,” she said, “but because we’re all here, it didn’t feel like it was that far away.”

Courtesy of the Daily News Record, April 27, 2015