By Rebecca Lauck Cleary/University of Mississippi
OXFORD – Southern hospitality captivated the hearts of triplets from Texas, all of whom decided to attend the University of Mississippi this fall.
Haley, Suzanne and Beau Harriman, triplets from Fort Worth, were so taken with Mississippi they even named their dog Archie, after football legend Archie Manning.
“We weren’t dead-set on being together all through college,” Beau said. “We never really talked about it that much. We agreed we didn’t want to be one in California and one in Florida or something like that, but then we all loved it here, so we all decided to come here together.”
The oldest of the three, Haley, said when they were visiting other schools, they asked one other if they could picture themselves living there.
“Then, when we stepped on the Grove and on campus, we all said, ‘This is it,’” she said.
Though the three siblings are tight, they are quick to point out their different interests: Haley is an accounting major, Beau is a business major and Suzanne is a hospitality management major.
“Ole Miss is big enough where we can be individuals, but it’s small enough where we can stay together,” Haley said. “We can do our own thing, but then we can eat lunch in the Union together and go out together.”
The triplets said even when people back home ask them why they chose Ole Miss, it’s impossible to just pick one thing.
“It’s the feeling you get when you walk around campus,” Suzanne said. “When I walk around, I actually look around and enjoy how pretty it is, and the feeling you get walking to class.”
Despite their different majors, the triplets have many classes together this semester.
“We all have math and history together, and Suzanne and I have music together, and Haley and I have racquetball with each other,” Beau said. He said his schedule keeps him busy and productive.
Suzanne said she wanted to be able to grow as an individual and not just as one of the three, all while keeping her siblings nearby.
“It’s nice when people ask just about you,” Suzanne said. “They can get to know us first, and then we can say we are a triplet, but they don’t automatically classify us that way. One thing we get asked a lot is, ‘Where is your brother’ or ‘Where is your sister,’ and when I say, ‘I don’t know,’ they act like just because we are triplets, we have a GPS tracker on each other.”
They agreed that at Ole Miss, they are able to have their own identities, without being forced to be together.
One of the administrators the three talked to while visiting the campus last year was Provost Morris Stocks, who called the Harrimans “delightful.”
“It is obvious that the Harriman triplets are close and enjoy the company of each other,” Stocks said. “I have seen them walking across campus together more than once. Yet, they have chosen different academic paths and have developed separate social circles. I appreciate their confidence and independence. I have every expectation that they will be very successful here.”
For the Harrimans, being a set of three just seems normal, they said.
“People ask you, ‘How is it being a triplet,’ but we don’t know anything else,” Suzanne said. “I couldn’t imagine having an older or younger brother or sister – by years, not minutes. They’ve always been here for 19 years, and I don’t know anything else.”
Usually, parents don’t empty the nest all at once and will have had a few years to adjust to their children being gone. But the Harrimans agree being out of state is a good thing.
“I think, ultimately, our parents are sad we’re gone, but they know we are happy, they know we are keeping up our grades, and they know we aren’t getting in trouble,” Haley said.
“They know we are in the right place,” Suzanne said.
“And they know we’re together,” Beau said.
“And they know we are safe,” Haley said.
“I talked to my dad last night, and he said he has no doubt this is the place we should be, and they have no regrets at all about sending us this far away,” Beau said. “They know this place is best for us.”
“They wouldn’t want us anywhere else,” Haley said. “We’re happy, so they’re happy.”