Liam and Logan Nee never expected they would stay in Maine for college. They also never expected to share a school — or a major or off-campus housing.
The senior identical twins from Cornish, Maine, both applied to “about a dozen” schools, but ultimately chose UMaine because of the Division I track program and in-state tuition.
“We certainly didn’t choose it to be near each other,” Liam says.
“We strategically chose our living spaces specifically to avoid each other,” says Logan. “Not in the sense that we didn’t want to see each other. This was sort of our only way of differentiating ourselves.”
That was when they were freshman. Three years later, they both live in the same off-campus house.
“Freshman year, we were not talking to each other, really. People made jokes like ‘oh, are you going to stay together in the same dorm room?’ And we said, ‘We’ll do track and that’ll be our only thing together,’” Liam says.
Since arriving at UMaine, both brothers have competed in the same track event — the 800.
“We always liked to compete in every aspect, but track just puts it in the perspective of an actual race,” Liam says. “Logan’s definitely winning the GPA race, though, so I guess you could say I’ve controlled the track, but he’s controlled the books.”
Logan came to UMaine as a financial economics major, while Liam pursued journalism. Eventually, they both decided to add political science as a second major, but they have never taken a class together. After UMaine, both brothers say they intend to pursue jobs in their fields — Liam as a journalist and Logan as a financial consultant — wherever they need to go.
“Logan and I are pretty strong, and we don’t let a lot of stuff come between us and our goals,” Liam says. “I think we’ll find ways to work or go to graduate school — or both.”
Both brothers have been involved in the many out-of-class offerings at UMaine. Liam is on the staff of the Maine Campus, UMaine’s student-run newspaper, and WMEB 91.9, the campus radio station, where he has hosted five shows. One, an electronic dance music program, he cohosts with Logan.
Logan helped found UMaine’s chapter of No Labels, a national political group that works to promote problem-solving and bipartisanship in Washington, D.C. The group hosted a debate during the United States Senate race in 2012, which drew both major party candidates, although not the election’s eventual winner, Independent Sen. Angus King.
Logan also has been a Farm Credit Fellow and served a term in student government. He has written political commentary for the Maine Campus and PolicyMic, an online outlet for young voices.
Being involved with activities is useful for both resume building and socializing, they say.
“This culture’s very close-knit,” Liam added. “It’s a big school, but you feel like you know everyone.”
In a way, it’s easier to make more friends if you have a twin. “Our freshman year, I’d be walking on the mall and I’d get a wave from someone, and I’d just have no idea who it is. I’d start out the conversation with ‘I’m Logan’s brother, by the way. But I’ll meet you, it’s just not the person you think it is,’” Liam says.
“UMaine helped us reach a comfort level with the twin stuff.”