Profile: Eboni, Destini & Mahogani Smith
Sophomores Eboni, Destini and Mahogani Smith may hail from Hoover, Ala., but the sisters share a strong love for Mississippi State.
"We have twin friends from high school that came to school here and were in the band, and they convinced my twin Eboni to come," said Mahogani, a special education major. "I wanted to stay and go to school somewhere at home, but our parents (Emanuel and Debra Smith) didn't want us to separate, so I ended up coming here."
"I never was an Alabama or Auburn fan and I wasn't into SEC football or anything like that," she said. "Once I came down here, I was all 'Hail State,'" she added, with a smile.
Destini, who is a year younger, also had her heart set on an in-state school, but said she found herself falling in love with the MSU campus and Starkville's small-town vibe after attending a Preview Day and visiting her sisters during Labor Day weekend. "You feel like you know everybody," the psychology major said.
Eboni, a biomedical engineering major, said she "just loved everything about the campus, especially the people; the (MSU-made) ice cream was like the icing on the cake."
Since arriving at State, all three have been members of the MSU Philharmonia and Starkville-MSU Symphony Orchestra. Mahogani is first-chair cello, Destini plays viola and Eboni is the violinist of the group.
Continuing to perform on their respective instruments—as they have for more than a decade—means a lot to the Smiths. So, too, do the inspiring individuals they've met along the way. All cited one person in particular, assistant professor Gary Packwood, the music department's choral activities director.
"He's just so uplifting," says Mahogani. "He's an inspiration because he tries to help push you in the right direction; it's really good to have people who inspire you to do better."
Packwood "encourages us to continue to play together and do whatever we can to continue to perfect our craft," said Destini.
When other out-of-state students they know or meet are considering Mississippi State, Mahogani said she encourages them to "not think about the money. Think about what you're going to get out of it.
"Even though college is costly," she continued, "I am getting a lot out of it. I would not have traded this experience at Mississippi State for the world."
Destini called it "one of the best decisions I've ever made." And Eboni? "I would make the same decision again."
For this particular family of Smiths, Eboni probably said it best earlier in their conversation: "It's good to know that we're all here together."Writer: Sasha Steinberg | Photo: Megan Bean
Next week … John Tomlinson !