Teammates, roommates, and grateful scholarship recipients.
By Stacey Schmeidel
For Drew and Spencer Gill ’15, Davidson has been a family affair. the identical twins from Knoxville, tenn., are both members of the swim team. they took ethics, biology, and calculus courses together in their first year at the college, and both are considering biology majors. Roommates their first year, they’re rooming together next year, too—after spending the summer lifeguarding, and working for a catering company. Together.
“We knew we wanted to go to a school where we could compete on a Division I swim team,” said Drew Gill—though his brother may well have said the same thing. “We also wanted an academically challenging environment. Davidson offered that, and it was also a very affordable option.”
Davidson prides itself on being a family, and it’s not unusual to find siblings attending the college together. it’s not even that unusual to find identical twins; those with long memories will recall the period when seven sets of twins were competing on various wildcat sports teams!
But the Gill brothers are special. Together, they’re the inaugural recipients of the Robert and Joanna Hutchinson scholarship, which supports families who have two or more siblings at Davidson at one time. All five of Robert and Joanna Hutchinson’s children earned their undergraduate degrees from Davidson—and all but one of them was here at the same time as another sibling. (Rob Hutchinson graduated in 1977, Roy in 1978, Anna in 1980, David in 1984, and John in 1989.) Rob Hutchinson says that the idea for the scholarship was some time in the making, but once it took hold, it seemed like the right thing to do. Each sibling, he explained, had been sending donations to the college over a period of 20 years, “with the intention of building up a fund over time. As time went on, it occurred to us that the most appropriate thing to do was to honor our parents, who had sent us all to Davidson, by naming a scholarship for them.” One night during a family dinner, the children told their parents that they needed a purpose for the scholarship. “They said, ‘Ehy not set it up for someone with siblings there?’” Rob Hutchinson explained. “It’s different for everyone,” he added, “but in our family that resonated with all of us as the right thing to do.”
Like the Gill brothers, the Hutchinsons understand the value of having family on campus. “We each had our own lives,” Rob Hutchinson explained, “but we always knew that our family was on campus in case you needed someone to talk to.” The Gills understand that, and are grateful for the opportunity the scholarship provides. “We couldn’t be here without the generosity of people like them,” drew Gill added. “Davidson seems like the perfect school, and we’re very grateful that the Hutchinson family has made that possible.”
Photo Credit: Bill Giduz