Meet the Black Twins Who Made History as Valedictorians at Spelman With a 4.0 GPA

Kirstie and Kristie Bronner

In 2013, identical twins Kirstie and Kristie Bronner, were named co-valedictorians at Spelman College. With a 4.0 GPA, the Bronners were the first twins to receive the designation in the history of Spelman. “Being co-valedictorians of our class is very exciting and a blessing for us,” said Kirstie.

Following graduation, Kristie and Kirstie, both music majors, joined the youth ministry at a church in Atlanta pastored by their father. In between directing youth events and counseling in the music department, they recorded a contemporary Christian CD and wrote a book offering advice to high school students about achieving academic success in college and beyond.

The Bronners attribute their academic achievement to a disciplined study routine, time management, and their faith. “We maximized our study time,” said Kirstie. “People would ask us ‘do you want to go do this or that on a weekday’ and the response was an automatic ‘no.’ We saved recreation for the weekend. Our philosophy was and is, pay now and play later.”

The sisters are third-generation Spelman graduates. As youngsters, they looked up to their mother, Nina Cobb Bronner, Class of '85, and grandmother, Dorothy Gibson Cobb, Class of '56, and naturally wanted to continue the Spelman tradition. However, Kirstie changed her mind in high school and wanted to go to a school with more diversity. Her perspective shifted when the sisters took part in a National Society of High School Scholars campus tour of Spelman during their senior year.

“When I heard the whole idea behind [Spelman’s mission] ‘a choice to change the world,’ I realized Spelman was the place for me,” Kirstie said. “The experience of being here and hearing that Spelman emphasized leadership, community service, legacy, and changing the world was an affirmation because those things had been instilled in us throughout our lives. It clicked with who I was and made me realize this was a place I needed to be.”

The Bronners rounded out their academic career by studying music abroad their junior year in Milan, Italy as part of the Institute for the International Education of Students. It’s an experience Kristie described as “one of the more enriching semesters of my life.” They joined the Spelman College Glee Club their first year, and each earned a leadership position within the Glee Club by their senior year – Kirstie as a section leader and student conductor and Kristie as a section leader and chaplain.

“Spelman has emphasized not just the academic side but the development of the overall person,” said Kristie. “There is a nurturing environment here that establishes a foundation on which you can stand. It’s been a nurturing environment for my overall growth as a Black woman.”