Family Matters: Samantha ’19 and Sabrina ’19 Butler

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Sabrina, left, and Samantha, right.

No, Samantha Butler ’19 does not trade places with her twin sister, Sabrina ’19. If you poke Samantha, Sabrina doesn’t feel it, too. In fact, the two sisters want others to know that, no, they are not the same person. The two are different, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I think I’ve only been asked ‘What are your guys’ differences?’ four or five times here,” Sabrina said. “I like that question because we get tied together sometimes. It’s nice when someone’s interested in knowing the differences between us.”
All questions aside, Sabrina and Samantha call themselves best friends. They lived together for the majority of their college career, most recently on “Butler Ave.,” the hallway they shared in their sorority house, Sigma Beta.
“If my stuff came up missing, I knew where it was,” Sabrina joked.
The two worked as lifeguards at the campus pool. They run 5k races together. They competed as teammates on the swim team, where they pushed each other to improve their times. And of course, they tell each other everything.
The sisters originally thought they’d end up at different colleges. Samantha fell in love with Olivet after a campus visit with her high school swim coach. Sabrina originally wanted to play basketball at a larger school, but Samantha convinced her to visit Olivet as well. Before they knew it, the two were starting their college journey together.
Built-in Best Friend
For Samantha and Sabrina, their sisterhood extends beyond genetics. As sorority sisters at Sigma Beta, the two developed friendships with many other young women, growing their family at Olivet.
“It’s nice to have my sister here but to also gain so many other sisters,” Sabrina said. “I’m always in my comfort zone, and there’s never a dull moment. Olivet is one big family for us. We’ve also gotten really close to staff and faculty.”
Having a built-in support system allowed the two to branch out almost immediately after arriving at Olivet.
“I think having each other here made us excel more,” Sabrina said. “Since we were together, we found that we were able to do a little more on campus our freshman year. I always had someone to go to events with, and that allowed us to eventually form connections with other students.”
Not only did their experiences at Olivet allow Samantha and Sabrina to become a part of a larger community, they also strengthened their bond as sisters.
“We learned to support each other more and learn from each other’s mistakes,” Samantha said. “Our time here has made us grow so much closer. I often ran into Sabrina’s room and told her about the smallest things. We brighten each other’s days up.”
“Samantha is my built-in best friend,” Sabrina said. “This is the girl I grew up playing Barbies with. We never used to tell each other a lot, but now we tell each other everything.”
Miles Apart, Minutes Away
While both Samantha and Sabrina are interested in science, the similarities end there. Samantha majored in criminal justice with a minor in environmental science. Sabrina graduated with a degree in biology with a concentration in ecology and organisms. The two are already pursuing their dreams post-graduation. Samantha works in the hiking camp store at Glacier Mountain National Park in Montana while job shadowing a ranger to gain experience and build connections. Her ultimate goal is to become a park ranger at a state or national park. Sabrina is pursuing fieldwork in Michigan, using her talents to give back to the state. She dreams of working in marine aquatics someday.
Many miles may separate the sisters, but their bond remains strong. Their go-to method of communication is FaceTime, and though they’re both busy, they’re always on each other’s minds.
“I know that if I don’t hear from Sabrina for a few days, she’s probably thinking of me all day, every day,” Samantha said. “I’m always thinking, ‘Sabrina would really like this.’ Just the little things remind me of her. The little things connect me back to her.”
“It’s all about connecting and telling your story — what you’re doing when you’re not with each other,” Sabrina said.
To learn more about The University of Olivet, contact the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or admissions@uolivet.edu.


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