The Bethlehem triplets will be the first set to graduate from Lehigh University – The Morning Call

Shortly after the birth of the triplets in 2000, Mary Joe McNulty returned to staffing at Lehigh University and brought the children with her to the children’s center on campus.

Now, more than 20 years later, McNulty’s triplets – Kevin, Katie and Sean – will graduate on Monday as the first triplets to do so in the history of Lehigh University.

“They did such incredible things,” said their mother, who recently celebrated her 40th birthday at the University of Bethlehem. “I can’t wait to see what awaits them in the future.”

Kevin, Katie and Sean McNulty grew up in Bethlehem, studying in urban schools. Although they were rarely in the same classes, they always shared birthdays and graduation ceremonies. They studied at Liberty High School.

“I think naturally it just makes you a little closer because you can get that shared experience,” said 21-year-old Kevin McNulty, who is graduating with a degree in political science.

However, the triplets also had their difficulties, said 21-year-old Katie McNulty, who will receive a degree in journalism.

“We’re three different people, and I don’t think people were really aware of that,” she said. “They just suggested, ‘Oh, you’re a triple.’ These are the three of you. You will all be the same, you will reach the same stages, you will all be the same in your studies, ”and that is not the case”.

Despite the fact that siblings have different interests and hobbies, sports have always linked them together.

Growing up, they listened to the band play football games at Liberty High School and watched as their dad – who received two master’s degrees in Lehigh – helped coach the team. On the weekends, they watched the New York Giants game.

The siblings also played Lehigh sports, collected balls that got lost in basketball games, and managed watches for football and lacrosse.

When it came time to go to college, three applied for an early decision at Lehigh University, and all three entered. They were able to visit Licha for free because of their mother’s work, and had to pay only for accommodation and meals.

“It was the culmination of all our efforts for 18 years, and the minute we hit, we jumped and screamed, laughed and cried,” said 21-year-old Sean McNulty, who is graduating with a degree in international relations and theater. “There was so much support in the air and we were all so happy for each other.”

While on campus, the three joined various activities. Kevin McNulty became involved in Greek life and eventually became president of Psi Upsilon; Katie McNulty did an internship at Lehigh Sports and became the editor of the university newspaper The Brown and White; and Sean McNulty has appeared in plays such as staging “Godspell” on campus.

“Even though they tell me they don’t like theater, they will support me in every show,” Sean McNulty said of his siblings. “They’re going to go out, watch and stay throughout all this, so it’s always been nice because it shows that even though they don’t want to do it, they want to support me.”

However, the triplets found time to spend together while in college.

The first year they lived in the same dormitory but in different rooms, and went through a seminar class together. They dined together at The Promenades in the Sawkon Valley or met for food at The Goose, a deli in South Bethlehem.

The triplets will also attend the annual football match between Likha and Lafayette College.

“It’s such a big game for rivalry, and it’s so important,” Kevin McNulty said. “And having it in your school is really cool, especially in the last year.”

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Brothers and sisters were also close to each other during difficult times. A sophomore, when Katie McNulty was expelled from the athletics team, she relied more on the support of her brothers.

“I was really depressed. I left the training team [and] lost my identity because sport was my whole identity, ”she said. “It was so nice to have them … and just know that ‘You may not be able to, but your family is literally here to help you.'”

The McNulty triplets will celebrate another graduation together on Monday before going the different ways.

Kevin McNulty will remain in Leahy to earn a master’s degree in public policy before entering law school; Sean McNulty has agreed to work full-time at the company where he is an intern, EMC Research, a company that conducts surveys and data; and Katie McNulty will continue her passion for sports as an assistant in sports communications at Müllenberg College in Allentown.

Katie McNulty said it would be an adjustment for three after graduation. This will be the first time the triplets are not all studying together at school, but they plan to stay close.

“It’s just my best friends, I’ll go or die,” said Katie McNulty. “I would do anything for them and I know they would do anything for me. I know I will always count on them. “

The morning call reporter Jenny Roberts can be contacted at 484-903-1732 and

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