CUT FROM THE SAME CLOTH – King University Student Profile
“We all wanted to cross that finish line first, no matter who we were racing.”
KATIE & WHITNEY CHRISTIAN
Formerly a trading post and stagecoach stop, Church Hill is a sleeping southern town on the eastern edge of Hawkins County, Tennessee. It was there that two sisters, fourteen months apart in age, Whitney, 20 years-old, and Katie, 19, would begin their journey into the world. Growing up in a family of seven kept things interesting. And having a house full of children, each around the same age, sibling rivalry was fierce. Whitney recalls, “Growing up, we were all part of the same track team. We had a healthy level of competition to help us grow up. We all wanted to cross that finish line first, no matter who we were racing.”
Both sisters agree that competition drove them to be better. But despite the competitive nature at home, the girls both shared friends. “Everyone liked one another. Our house was always filled with all of our friends,” Katie said. The girls attribute their success to not only hard work and dedication, but also to the support they have received from their family.
“Our family has always been supportive in everything that we do in life. They never missed a game or meet. They are our number one fans,” the sisters said. It is important to them that they excel both on the field and in life to make their family proud. For Katie enrolling at King was not a difficult decision. “I checked my email one day and saw an email from coach Merkison and decided to come on a recruiting visit for the Acro team. After my visit, I knew I wanted to come here because everyone made me feel so welcome.”
Whitney on the other hand had been unsure at first where she wanted to attend college. “I had several offers to run track at different schools. When I came on my visit to King, I felt like I was at home. I felt like I was meant to come here.” After fourteen years of going to school together: pre-school, elementary, middle, and high school, it just so happened that we ended up attending college together. “The best thing about being on the same campus is if one of us forgets something at home the other is able to bring it back to campus. We even share clothes,” Katie says. And they don’t get sick of each other because as Katie reiterates, “We have different class and practice schedules. It is just nice to know that we have each other within walking distance.”
Because the girls don’t look alike, most people on campus don’t know they are sisters. “It is funny when people find out that we are sisters,” they say with a laugh, “They are in complete shock.” The sisters, though a year apart in age, have lived their lives very much like twins. And they are both headed in different directions when it comes to career destination. Whitney is a junior in the education program – majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies and minoring in Elementary K-5 + ESL. Her goal is to continue her education with a focus on Speech Pathology and one day work as a speech pathologist in a school or hospital. Katie on the other hand has always been fascinated with anything medical and dreams of becoming a pediatrician. “I love kids and being able to help them grow up healthy and strong seems like the best job.” Katie is currently a molecular biology major and plans to attend medical school after graduation.
Both Whitney and Katie represent what it means to be King students – thoughtful, resourceful, and responsible citizens with a passion for service to God, to God’s people, and to the greater world.