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Incoming First-Years a Foursome

Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2008

When the Classes of 2012 arrive for Orientation, there will be four welcoming packets prepared with the name Wasmund on them. It won’t be a typo or logistical error; they’ll be needed by four siblings, born moments apart, who all chose Hobart and William Smith Colleges for their higher education. Quadruplets Elizabeth, Peter, Mark and John Wasmund graduated from Fabius-Pompey High School this year while their older brother, Paul, graduated from Hobart this spring. The younger siblings selected the Colleges from among 30 they looked at collectively – and despite the fact that not one wanted to attend the same school as the other three. According to an article about the quads in Syracuse's Post Standard , the Wasmunds liked “the school’s program, atmosphere and small size.” The four are as diverse as any four first-year students, intending to pursue studies in education and pre-law; communications; international relations; and economics and math. The full article about the Wasmunds appears below.


Post Standard “Graduating X4” Elizabeth Doran • Staff writer • June 27, 2008 The Wasmund quadruplets won't be sitting next to each other at Fabius-Pompey High School's graduation ceremonies tonight. That will prevent a scene they want to avoid: their name repeated four times in a row. "At awards ceremonies we get "Wasmund, Wasmund, Wasmund, Wasmund,' and it's the only time anyone really notices we're quadruplets," said Elizabeth, the only girl in the foursome. "So we won't be sitting together." The Wasmund quads -- Elizabeth, Peter, Mark and John -- celebrated their 18th birthday June 15. Their birth in 1990 made them little celebrities across Central New York, as they were the first set of quads born at Crouse Irving Memorial Hospital and believed to be the first set born in Onondaga County. Over the years, some of that attention has faded and the four have quietly gone about the business of growing up. This fall, all four will be heading to the same college -- Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva. They didn't plan it that way. They applied to at least 30 colleges among them. But they were familiar with Hobart -- their older brother, Paul, graduated from there last May -- and they like the school's program, atmosphere and small size. Once they decided, no one wanted to bypass it simply because their siblings were attending. "They really had no interest in going together. In fact, they picked it in spite of each other," said their mother, Maryam Wasmund. Muddling through the college application process caused more teeth-gnashing for Maryam and Mark Wasmund than chasing four toddlers. Keeping the applications, passwords and paperwork for 30 applications and financial aid forms straight was a daunting task. All four piled in the car for road trips to seven Northeast colleges. Just applying to schools cost the Wasmunds at least $1,000, plus the cost of gas and hotels for visits. Because all four are attending college at once, financial aid/grants will cover about half their costs; the rest will come from loans and work study. Maryam Wasmund works as a comptroller for Filtertech, a family business. Mark is a lawyer. On the plus side, adjusting to roommates should be easy for the boys, who all shared a room until their older brother went to college. Before the older brother left, the family did have one extra room but they kept it a guest room because deciding which boy would get his own room was impossible, Maryam said. John plans to study education and pre-law. Elizabeth will major in communications. Peter, international relations. Mark, economics and math. They say they probably won't see much of each other there. They're intent on being individuals, and they downplay the significance of being in a set of quadruplets. "It's really not a big deal," Mark said. All born a minute apart, Maryam Wasmund said the four have always celebrated their differences. As children, they never wanted to dress alike. "A couple of times they would come downstairs wearing similar outfits and they'd take one look and go back upstairs and change." Their personalities also contrast: Elizabeth and John don't like math, while Mark excels at it, and Peter likes history and psychology. Elizabeth takes meticulous notes in class, Peter likes to study the material himself, John memorizes what he learns and doesn't take notes and Mark kind of coasts along. John is the most talkative and Competitive; Elizabeth is mellow and more of the peacekeeper, Maryam and her children said. Elizabeth's also the most focused and organized of the four, with the strongest work ethic, they said. Mark is more outgoing and confident, while Peter is the most laid-back. Mark can often be found on his cell phone, Elizabeth and Mark text frequently and Peter would rather never answer his phone. Although frequently in the same high school classes because of the school's size (about 74 graduates in their class), they pretty much steer clear of each other. At one point, they even requested being placed in separate classes, but now realize it's a small school. All four have been in Betsy Devine's Spanish class together for three years, and she said while they're all very different, she adores them. "Mark is more the goofy, funny guy. He always has a joke, but always says thank you," she said. "Peter is quietly funny, while John is a little bit more serious. And Elizabeth is the studious, sensible one who's kind of in charge of the others." Elizabeth is the one who wants to get to school on time, and gets frustrated when her brothers are late. The four never take the school bus; they share their brother's car and another older car. They also never study together, but will frequently get the homework assignment they missed from a sibling. But there are common threads: All four play soccer and basketball and three run track. They all play a musical instrument, don't really like to sing and are big Mets fans. The Wasmund parents say the hardest part of raising quads is finding time to devote to each child individually. "It always seemed like we were rushed, whether it was a sport or doing homework or a school project." When the four went on a senior trip leaving the Wasmunds totally alone for the first time, it was strange, but enjoyable. What will it be like when they all go to college? "It will be different," Maryam said, "but I think I'll be OK. I find lots of things to do." Although the quads frequently disagree, most of the time they get along. When they go to college, Elizabeth says she won't miss the long post-game analysis her brothers and dad did after every game. "What I will miss is cheering for them at their games and yelling at them really loud to shoot the ball or kick it hard or whatever," she said. Elizabeth Doran can be reached at edoran@syracuse.com or 470-3012. How common Out of 4.1 million births in the U.S. in 2005, 139,816 were multiple babies. Of those: Twins 133,122 Triplets 6,208 Quadruplets 418 Quintuplets or more 68 Source: Centers for Disease Control's National Vital Statistics READ PAST STORIES ABOUT THE QUADS, SEE PHOTOS THROUGH THE YEARS AT blog.syracuse.com/indepth

 


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