By Christina Steube, Ole Miss News
The University of Mississippi chapter of Phi Kappa Phi honor society inducted 270 new members Sunday (Oct. 29), including three juniors from the same family.
Ann Weston, Katherine and Will Sistrunk, triplets from Springfield, Missouri, were inducted into the most selective interdisciplinary honor society at the university. All three are members of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.
“The invitation to be a member of Phi Kappa Phi is a great accomplishment and it is especially exciting to be inducted with my siblings, as I owe much of my success to the guidance and support of Katherine and Will,” Ann Weston said.
Ann Weston is a public policy leadership major and is seeking minors in Spanish and intelligence and security studies. She plans to pursue a career in global health policy upon completion of graduate school.
Also a public policy leadership major and a pre-nursing student, Katherine is minoring in Spanish and society and health. She wants to combine her love for public policy with a career in a health-related field.
Will is majoring in biology and pursuing minors in chemistry and society and health. He plans to attend medical school after graduating from Ole Miss.
“Being nominated for Phi Kappa Phi is an awesome honor and reward for me academically,” Will said. “It also is a reflection of the great opportunities I have had at Ole Miss, from advising in the Honors College to meeting with professors who are always willing to help. I am excited for all that Phi Kappa Phi has to offer.”
To receive an invitation to join Phi Kappa Phi, juniors must have completed at least 72 credit hours and rank in the top 7.5 percent of their class. All three made the cut.
Deb Wenger, Phi Kappa Phi chapter president and assistant dean for partnerships and innovation in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media, said this is the first time she is aware of triplets inducted into any chapter of Phi Kappa Phi.
The Sistrunks come from an Ole Miss family. Their parents, William and Camille Sistrunk, are university alumni and Mississippi natives, and when it came to the three choosing a college, UM was always a consideration.
“As we were considering colleges, we initially had varying ideas on where we wanted to go and what we wanted to study,” Katherine said. “At first, I thought it was a definite possibility that we would end up at different schools. But, as we continued to visit other universities, Ole Miss kept calling us back.
“Ever since we were little, we have called Mississippi our second home. Ole Miss has brought us friendships and memories, and we ultimately chose Ole Miss because it was not only where our family went to school, but because it felt like home.”
UM was where the three siblings felt most comfortable and could each pursue the major of their choice.
“We are all very close but independent and different in our own ways, and it was a great thing that we each decided Ole Miss was the right place for each of us,” Katherine said. “Aside from Ole Miss having so many outstanding academic and extracurricular opportunities in which to participate, choosing Ole Miss was like coming home, and I couldn’t image what my college experience would have been like without my family by my side.”
But it wasn’t just the culture and the legacy aspect that drew them in. The Sistrunks said the scholarships offered through Ole Miss were the most generous of any institution to which they applied.
“Ole Miss has been everything we expected and much more in providing an excellent academic environment in which our kids are thriving, and we are very grateful for that,” the triplets’ father, William, said. “We are excited that they are planting roots in Mississippi.”
The university has since allowed each of them to academically perform to the best of their abilities.
“I am motivated to achieve by the desire to one day be able to be a successful professional and say that I am an alumni of the University of Mississippi, and with that, hopefully give back to the university that has given me so much,” Ann Weston said.
Ultimately, their independent achievements allowing them to come together in Phi Kappa Phi has made the family closer than ever.
“To me, my sisters being at the same college has been a great resource and comfort,” Will said. “I wouldn’t be where I am now without them. However, I know wherever they go, they will succeed.”
Their mother, Camille, agrees.
“My husband and I are very proud of Ann Weston, Katherine and Will,” she said. “We are very blessed that they are happy and healthy kids and students who have always academically challenged themselves and each other.”