Hearn Twins

Twins earn twice the honors at Cal State Dominguez Hills

By Sandra T. Molina, Staff Writer

Whittier Daily News Sun. May 20, 2007

 

WHITTIER - For Candace Hearn and her twin sister, Kimberly, Friday was just another day. Or at least that's what they thought the night before they received their diplomas from California State Dominguez Hills.

"We haven't really thought about it much," said Kimberly, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration. She has had other things on her mind, like a September wedding to her fiance Devin Brown.

But it really was special in many ways for the 22-year-old twins who grew up and still live in Whittier with their parents, Bruce and Karen, and older brother Matthew.

They graduated summa cum laude, meaning the highest academic distinction, with a 3.86 grade point average for Kimberly and 3.84 for Candace.

And it's not every day that a proud father also gets to wear a cap and gown along with his daughters on graduation day.

But that's what happened.

Thirty years after graduating from Cal State Dominguez Hills himself, Bruce Hearn sat proudly Friday on the stage as his twin daughters received their diplomas from his own alma mater.

He took advantage of the university's policy of inviting alumni to be part of the graduation ceremony by donning a cap and gown and sitting on stage.

"I hadn't worn a cap and gown for a long time," he said, "and to do it while watching my daughters get their diplomas was special."

Bruce also joked, as the family gathered at his parent's home in Downey for a celebration, that his seat gave him a better photo advantage over other parents who had to sit in the stands of the Home Depot Center.

For Candace and Kimberly, who would have been born in Whittier Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital if it was equipped for multiple births, the day was a culmination of work in the classroom and on the playing field.

"Getting good grades was just another way of being competitive," Kimberly explained. "You want to stand above the rest."

The goal to be the best began with T-ball and continued through swimming, volleyball and soccer.

It was soccer, whether in AYSO, the Whittier Soccer Club or at Whittier High School, that the twins found their greatest on-field success.

"There are too many trophies and ribbons to count," Bruce said. "But, if anyone knew what they were, my wife would."

Both young women said that their parents did not push them to excel at either sports or academics, but were just very supportive of their choices.

"They didn't have to get after us about homework, but always told us to do the best of our abilities," Candace said. "We just knew that if we wanted to be the best, we had to put our best effort forward."

And that they did.

They were recruited by CSUDH, received athletic scholarships and made the Dean's list all four years.

And this year Candace, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in physical education with a minor in business, added another accolade to the list as she was named the school's Female Scholar/Athlete of the Year 2007.

She also received the coach's award while completing in a full soccer season despite fractured vertebrae.

Kimberly, who is the older twin by six minutes, did not play this year because her schedule of classes clashed with soccer practice and training.

Neither one is taking her soccer career further since there is no longer a women's professional league nor are they interested in training for the Olympics.

Candace is going for her master's degree at Cal State Fullerton while working as a trainer at a burgeoning health facility that caters to youth. She hopes to help the company build a franchise.

Kimberly is already working full time at a domestic and international shipping company.

As they look back on their scholastic and athletic careers, the one thing that stands out for both is they were able to do it together.

"I don't know what it would've been like not to have her share the same experience," Candace said.

"We pushed each other," Kimberly added. "She's my best friend."

sandra.molina@sgvn.com

(562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028