Twin Brothers Successful in Their Own Right

When you see them separately, you may confuse Mister Norfolk State University for the NSU Student Government President. That may not be an uncommon mistake because the brothers who serve as Mister Norfolk State and as SGA President are identical twins Joshua and Jeremiah O’Bryant. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that because they are identical, that the O’Bryant brothers are carbon copies of each other.

“As twins, we constantly get compared to each other, but it is important to remember that we have our own goals, interests, and dreams,” said Joshua, who is Mister Norfolk State University.

In fact, the brothers expected to go to different universities ― Joshua to North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, and Jeremiah to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. But after a campus visit to Norfolk State, there was no doubt that NSU was where they belonged.

Once on campus, each brother forged his own path to success. Jeremiah, a political science major, set his sights on working in student government while Joshua, a sociology major with a strong interest in business, set a course for reaching his goals through the University’s royal court. Yet those paths would lead them both to the same point—achieving the highest level of representation in their respective areas.

“My ambition to become President derived from what I experienced during my freshman year when I lost freshman year president,” said Jeremiah. “The confidence began to grow deeper in my sophomore year under a great SGA President who instilled in me that I could obtain the role as she did, but do the job even better.” Over the next few years, he went on to serve as Sophomore Vice President, SGA Parliamentarian, Chapter Historian for Epsilon Pi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Fundraising Chair for Norfolk State Student Ambassadors, Presidential Intern in the Office of Student Activities & Leadership, and Thurgood Marshall College Fund Scholar, among other positions. As SGA President, Jeremiah is the official representative of the body in matters with NSU administrators and faculty, as well as an ex-officio member of the Board of Visitors.

Joshua served as Mister Freshman, Mister Sophomore and Mister 1935 as a way of having an impact on the campus community before being chosen by the students as Mr. Norfolk State University. A Forbes Under 30 Scholar and Thurgood Marshall College Fund Scholar, Joshua served as an NSU Presidential Intern in the Office of Sponsored Programs and became a member of the Delta Zeta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.

Norfolk State’s Emerald Green & Citrine Royal Court is comprised of males and females representing each class as well as Mister and Miss Norfolk State University. They exemplify quality campus leadership and perform community service. “I was grateful to be on the royal court all 4 years,” Joshua said. “I always dreamed of being in a position that would better equip me for the world outside of college.”

As Joshua and Jeremiah look forward to the spring semester and their graduation in May 2021, they reflect on their growth and the role Norfolk State has played in it.

“I have benefited tremendously from Norfolk State in my efforts to go after all the career goals I set for myself during my time at the University,” said Jeremiah. “From the Political Science Department, Career Services Office, and the Office of Student Activities & Leadership, I thank these offices for their work and the opportunities they have granted me.”

Joshua agrees. “NSU has catered to not only seeing the future in me, but also seeing the future in my goals, aspirations, and even my dream career,” he said. “The Faculty here at Norfolk State has helped me in an amazing way, especially the Career Services Office and the Office of Graduate Studies & Sponsored Programs. They have not only made sure I stay career ready, but they are always curious on how my day-to-day is going.”

The brothers give this advice about Norfolk State to prospective and current students:

“If you’re looking for a school to support you, a community-enhanced environment, or boundless opportunities, then this is the right University for you. Just remember, you have to do the work and make the connection for yourself,” said Jeremiah. “If you wish to see the future in yourself just as NSU does for you, it starts as soon as you walk on campus,” said Joshua.