Better together: Three's a charm for GCU triplets

Emily, Becca and Libbie Jones are all freshmen at Grand Canyon University.
Triplets Emily, Becca and Libbie Jones are all freshmen at Grand Canyon University.

By Karen Fernau
GCU News Bureau

Triplets Emily, Becca and Libbie Jones would be a novelty at most high schools.

But not at theirs in Missoula, Mont. The sisters graduated in 2016 with six sets of twins and a set of quadruplets.

The Jones trio, however, was the only set to stay together for college. They are freshmen at Grand Canyon University, all studying to become teachers.

Becca was the GCU instigator. She was determined to go to college out of state, and a friend attending GCU encouraged Becca to apply to the private Christian university in Phoenix.

Emily was partial to the University of Montana.

It was Libbie who brought Emily and Becca, also identical twins, to their senses.

“I would not consider going anywhere without my sisters,” said Libbie, a pianist and singer majoring in music education. “We were going to go to college together.”

And that was that. All three applied to GCU and were granted admission and scholarships.

For the first time, the 18-year-old siblings are not sharing a bedroom. Instead, they share separate rooms on the sixth floor of Ironwood Hall.

They like being close — but as neighbors, not roommates. A little space between them feels right and helps combat a common thorn for triplets: being treated as a unit.

“I might be a triplet, but I have a name. I am different from my sisters,” said Emily, who plans to teach elementary school.

From five to zero

The triplets, who also have two older sisters, face many of the same questions at GCU that they did growing up.

“No, we can’t read each other’s minds,” said Becca, a physical education major. “No, we do not have twin telepathy. None of us hurt when the other hurts.”

The trio left the family home in August within five days of their two older sisters moving out. For their parents, Kevin and Cassie, the quiet of an empty home took their breath away.

“We were like two marbles in a can. The house seemed so empty,” said Cassie, a teacher at the preschool lab at the University of Montana.

Three loads of laundry a day shrank to three a week. A roast that would have been devoured in one meal lasted all week. She bought two apples instead of seven.

“We had two girls, then five,” she said. “They changed our lives for the better.”

Cassie’s third pregnancy was unplanned, but she and Kevin, an attorney, were excited about a third child. When Cassie began gaining more weight than typical, her doctor ordered an ultrasound.

The picture broke the news – they were expecting triplets. For Cassie, it was surreal.

“I looked at my husband and asked him what we were going to do. He simply said we would be leaving the hospital with three babies instead of one,” she said.

A very merry Christmas

Cassie and Kevin welcomed having the triplets and their sisters home for Christmas to once again fill the house with their high-wire energy.

“We love them coming home, but we also like how well they’ve adjusted to GCU. If the girls are happy, momma’s happy,” Cassie said.

The girls have talked about the possibility of one day living in different cities, maybe even thousands of miles apart.

“We joke that we will be together at 40, but the honest answer is we don’t really know,” Emily said.

But for now, the three are where they want to be – GCU.

Their adjustment from Montana to Arizona, from high school to college, has been relatively seamless. Unlike so many other out-of-state freshmen, they have not been homesick.


They brought half their family and their best friends to GCU.

“So many other twins, multiples go to different colleges, but not us,” Libbie said. “We are best together.”

Contact Karen Fernau at (602) 639-8344 or [email protected].


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Bible Verse

David said to Michal, "It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when He appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel — I will celebrate before the Lord. (2 Samuel 6:21)

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