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Meet Sean and Caitlin Casey, ’23

The twins grew up outside South Bend, Indiana, older siblings to another twin pair and children of legal scholars. They will graduate in June with bachelor’s degrees in economics and public policy, respectively, and are pursuing coterminal master’s degrees in management science and engineering.

Image credit: Andrew Brodhead

When Sean and Caitlin Casey were growing up, they had a family motto of sorts: “Caseys are kind.” At Stanford, the twins excelled in and out of the classroom, propelled by their dedication to others.

Sean always knew he wanted to attend Stanford, inspired by his mother, an alumna. Caitlin was initially hesitant, interested in charting a different course through college. But when her admission offer arrived, she found it impossible to turn down, and she took a leap of faith.

“My family was really supportive and pushed me to imagine bigger for myself,” she says. “That’s really what did it in the end.”

An economics major, Sean has applied his academic knowledge to the political process and civic engagement initiatives. As a sophomore, he took a leave of absence to work on the presidential campaign of Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of the Caseys’ hometown of South Bend, Indiana. In fall 2022, he took another break to work as press secretary for Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin.

In between, he served as co-director of Stanford Votes, and worked with his friend Jonathan Lipman, ’21, to establish Democracy Day, an academic holiday that gives students and faculty freedom to engage fully in elections.

Caitlin, a public policy major, focused her Stanford experience on personal connections and community building. She served as a tour guide because she wanted to show potential students that they could find a place at Stanford, as she did. She played club soccer and participated in Greek life.

During a gap year in 2020-2021, she coached her high school’s soccer team and worked remotely for an Alaskan senate campaign and a government relations firm. When she returned, she was recruited to join the varsity women’s field hockey team as goalie, though she was new to the sport.

In their divergent paths, the twins say Stanford allowed them an ideal combination of independence and continued connection – a testament to the build-your-own-adventure nature of the undergraduate experience, and an interlacing of student communities.

“When I arrived, I was nervous that the only family I’d have would be my twin brother,” Caitlin says. “But now when I think of family and Stanford, so many other people come to mind as well.”

Caitlin will continue at Stanford next year to finish her coterminal degree in management science and engineering. Sean has deferred acceptance to Yale Law, and will use his Gardner Public Service Fellowship to work for the Biden administration in Washington, D.C.

Story by Andrew Brodhead, Harry Gregory, Kurt Hickman, Julia James, and Tara Roberts.