The Marshall siblings are pursuing degrees at OSU at the same time.

The three Marshalls at OSU
The three Marshalls at OSU

If you asked the Marshall siblings a year ago if they could see themselves attending Oregon State University at the same time, they would have laughed at you. It seemed so unlikely. At 29, Nikki Marshall is ten years older than her brother, Mike, and 6 years older than her sister, Kerianne. They never even attended the same high school at the same time.

But in 2008-09 all three Marshall siblings will overlap as OSU students. Nikki is starting her fifth year working toward her Ph.D. in microbiology . Kerianne is in her second year earning her master’s in merchandising management, and Mike is starting his first year, with the intention of majoring in marketing or management.

“This is our only year together, and we’re looking forward to making the most of our time,” says Kerianne.

Although they are pursuing different fields, the factors that enticed the Marshalls to OSU were the same, namely a love for Corvallis and OSU — and Beaver tailgating.

“I feel relaxed and at home here,” says Nikki, who finished an undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Puget Sound in 2001 before moving back to Corvallis. “I love the atmosphere and the outdoors.”

Kerianne wasn’t sure she would stay at OSU when she started as an undergraduate in 2003. But she joined the Delta Gamma sorority as a freshman, moved into the house and found a support system that helped root her at OSU. She liked having her family nearby, and liked her familiarity with OSU — the Marshalls have lived in Corvallis since 1991. Her transition from an undergraduate education to an advanced degree at OSU was seamless. She graduated in 2007 and started master’s degree classes that fall.

Both Nikki and Kerianne are hoping that Mike will have an undergraduate experience that was as positive as theirs. “I want him to find the right club or organization that will help him meet people and have a great time,” Kerianne says. Mike seems ready to do that. He’s excited about playing intramural sports —soccer, golf and volleyball, to name a few.

Although Mike had the opportunity to go to school in Boston, where his parents are from, or Seattle, he picked OSU. “I sat down and thought about it and decided, ‘I like Corvallis,’” he says.

All three are anticipating the fall tailgating season, which has been a family tradition since 2002.“ Everything’s usually scheduled around the game,”says Mike. They’ve rarely missed one.

Their family has held season tickets since 1999, and they can remember Reser Stadium when it was still called Parker Stadium. They each have their favorite moments — Nikki’s and Kerianne’s when OSU beat USC in 2006; Mike’s is the 2004 “Fog Bowl,” and OSU’s near-victory over USC.

“This is our fall,” says Kerianne. “This is what we look forward to.”

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