Photo by Seth Roche
Perhaps you first notice while walking through lower lot, waiting in line at Hava Java or wobbling between chapel rows, but they eventually catch your eye—their names are Jacob and Michael. Jacob and Michael Huene, identical twin brothers, are all too familiar with the looks of curiosity when people first see them.
“It doesn’t get old seeing people’s reactions, because everyone is different,” said Jacob. “One time I was standing in line at Saga and a girl stood behind me, and then Jacob came behind her. When she saw Jacob behind her, she looked back at me and was like, ‘Wait, what?’ and looked back and forth.”
Both Jacob and Michael are juniors majoring in mechanical engineering, typically found walking side-by-side. They have roomed together since freshman year because they already had the bond and experience of relating with one another.
The brothers’ parents both graduated from ORU, followed by their older brother and sister. Their second sister Emily (the twins are her biggest fans) will graduate this year with a nursing degree. It seemed like nowhere else would be as good as ORU, according to Jacob.
The Huene’s grew up in Delta, Colorado, a small town with memorable landscape. On and off, they played soccer, participated in Awana clubs and enjoyed Colorado’s great outdoors with the free time provided by homeschooling. Their family raised them on ‘60s shows like “Gilligan’s Island” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” bringing them an appreciation for the earlier times of entertainment.
“We both enjoy old Rock and Roll from the ‘50s up to the ‘80s,” said Jacob. “We’ll listen to everything up to ‘90s and early 2000s.”
While at ORU, Jacob and Michael have volunteered with the Tulsa Boys & Girls Club and the Tulsa Dream Center, loving the opportunity to talk and play with younger students who needed encouragement.
Michael is interested in pursuing a master’s degree while balancing a career involved in aviation, which is engineering focused on aircrafts. Jacob also feels drawn to aviation engineering but is not as fond of the master’s degree idea.
There are some physical differences between the two which they like to keep secret until noticed, despite the time a professor announced the secrets to an entire classroom. The brothers have noticed a pattern of students talking to them to meet “the twins,” and it can feel ingenuine when people merely try to spot the differences in their appearances.
“I have gotten confused on pictures and messed it up. It’s sad, haha—I require everyone to know but I forget sometimes, truth be told,” admitted Michael.
Their specific personalities become noticeable after a short time. Michael is more introverted, whereas Jacob is more extroverted; Michael focuses on the details, whereas Jacob focuses on the bigger picture; Michael is more willing to hand out compliments, whereas Jacob is more likely to offer a savage comment. Jacob is also the older brother by nine minutes—ironic?
“We actually have different eyeglass prescriptions,” laughed Michael. “But the doctor did say we have the closest prescriptions that any two patients have had.”
Another difference arises in their dancing styles, specifically swing dancing. Jacob tends to turn his dance partners more, and he is also more likely to be caught chatting. Michael, on the other hand, is more likely to do aerials with his partners, which is any dance step where one’s feet leaves the floor. Even though aerial steps were banned at the swing dancing nights, Jacob and Michael still sneak them into dance routines, often getting “yelled” at.
“I feel like some people are too shy to ask about us being twins, but then there’s some people who are way too willing to be that person,” said Jacob. “We love the icebreaker system of being a twin, but it can get old sometimes.”
Although Jacob and Michael are undoubtedly identical twins, that is not the only thing to know about them. It might require work to tell who is who because they have consistently matched their schedules—and sometimes outfits—since freshman year. They considered taking different HPE courses but thought, “Why would we do that?”