‘Legacy’ twins set different career paths but stay together by enrolling at SC State

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

ORANGEBURG, S.C. – One has music on his mind. The other is ready to delve into engineering.

Legacy TwinsCareer goals included, Trenton and Tristan Roberson seem about as different as two brothers can be – so different you might never guess they are brothers, much less twins.

And despite some initial hesitation about staying together for college after being figuratively joined at the hip their whole lives, both decided the place to be is their mother’s alma mater, South Carolina State University. The 18-year-old freshmen even agreed to room together on campus.

“It’s a legacy -- I’m so excited for them,” said the twins’ mother, Laveita Roberson, a registered nurse and registered dietitian who graduated from SC State in 1996 with a degree in food science. “I learned a lot here and grew here. I still have a lot of friends I met here and still communicate with. I want them to have that same experience.”

For Tristan, SC State was a natural choice. He plans to major in nuclear engineering, and SC State is the only university in South Carolina and the nation’s only Historically Black College or University offering a four-year degree in the field.

As a music education and performance major, Trenton considered packing up his tuba and heading out of state for school, but SC State’s appeal kept him in South Carolina after their parents urged the twins to consider attending an HBCU.

“I didn’t have out-of-state money,” Trenton said. “Plus, I heard a lot of great things about SC State. I’m majoring in music, so I can’t wait for the marching band – the Marching 101.”

Like most freshmen, the Roberson brothers will experience life with more independence while they live on the SC State campus. Their arrival coincides with the university’s first semester of in-person instruction since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Because of the effectiveness and availability of the COVID-19 vaccines, SC State will offer a traditional classroom and residential campus atmosphere this fall with precautionary standards in place.

“I think it’s really going to be an experience -- all the freedom and everything, being on campus,” Tristan said. “I really think it will be more exciting than just being online … actually experiencing college you know.”

Having the traditional college campus experience is important to both.

“It is kind of interesting without the parents,” Trenton said. “There’s going to be a lot more freedom. There’s going to be a lot of choices. It might be hard for me, or it might be easy for me. I kind of can’t wait to make those decisions, because I think I’m mature enough to do it.”

The twins emphasized the responsibility they must take on as students.

Legacy Twins Family“I do think it’s going to be an experience of learning how to be an adult actually by going out on our own – doing stuff on our own,” Trenton said. “I know there’s no handholding here, too. If I don’t show up to class, I just don’t show up to class. I have to be on top of that. I’m ready to learn.”

Meanwhile, Mom and Dad will be just a few hours away in Greenville, South Carolina, enjoying their empty nest.

“I’m a little nervous, but I think they’ll be OK,” Laveita said. “They know what we expect.”