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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Introducing the Class of 2013: Twins Chandler ‘13 and Taylor ‘13 by Matt McGann '00

The fifth in a series of articles about the incoming MIT class.

Continuing our series Introducing the Class of 2013, today we have a pair of stories about a terrific pair of young women…

Twin co-valedictorians set for MIT
Originally posted on: Friday, May 29, 2009
by Adam Freeman

COLLIER COUNTY: A set of twin girls in Collier County have a lot more in common than just their looks. They’re also graduating at the top of their class as co-valedictorians.

Out of 75 students graduating from the Community School of Naples, what are the chances of two tying as valedictorians? If you knew anything about the Burfield twins, it would have been a sure bet from the beginning.

Like many twins, Chandler and Taylor Burfield play the same sports and share the same friends.

But unlike most twins, they each carry a 4.76 GPA.

“We both worked so hard throughout high school, so it’s just wonderful that we’re able to do this together and share this honor,” said Chandler.

The girls are also co-captains of the track team as well as members of the swim team and the National Honor Society.

But they are far from heated rivals.

“We definitely don’t let the other one win, but I think it’s a healthy competition,” said Taylor.

Their mom, Elise Burfield, is one person who has no person telling the two apart. She pointed out Taylor is one inch taller and one minute older.

“We don’t even think they’re twins. They don’t look alike to us. Their personalities are totally different,” she said.

Both girls plan to attend MIT in the fall. They say it’s not because they want to be together, but because MIT is such a great school.

“When we were deciding where to go to college, we weren’t deciding together. We each made our own decision, but it happened to be the same decision,” Chandler said,

When we asked the twins what they plan to major in this fall, the both said the same thing – math and economics.

Great minds think alike: Twins at Community School share valedictorian title
Posted May 28, 2009 at 7:57 p.m.

NAPLES — Community School of Naples seniors Taylor and Chandler Burfield share many things.

The same last name, the same birthday, the same grade point average and, tonight, the same stage.

The twin sisters will share the valedictorian title at The Community School’s graduation Friday evening.

“It’s nice to be able to share this with her,” said Taylor, 18, who is one minute older than Chandler.

As for competition between the two? It was friendly, they both said.

“I think we push each other and that is a positive thing,” said Taylor.

Chandler agreed.

“We are competing, but we are both happy for each other’s successes,” she said.

Case in point, Chandler cheered her sister on last week when Taylor was named Collier County’s Winged Foot winner.

The Burfield sisters are the daughters of Elise and Mark Burfield. They have one younger sister, Tristan, 13. At the Community School of Naples, both were on the Mu Alpha Theta team, were co-captains of cross country and track and swam for the Seahawks, among other things.

This fall, both sisters are headed to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Chandler is leaning toward majoring in mathematics or economics. Taylor is thinking about mathematics, engineering or economics.

Both, however, are planning to continue their running careers at MIT.

“This is a great new opportunity. We will be exposed to so many new things,” said Taylor. “We are going to a school with the best academics and a really great, dedicated team to run with.”

But the more immediate concern is what to say in their graduation speeches. When asked about the advice they would give to their fellow classmates, Taylor immediately piped up.

“I would tell them to have confidence in themselves and to push themselves,” she said. “They have great potential.”

Chandler looked at her sister.

“I was going to say the same thing,” she said.

Taylor laughed.

“This is why we have to work to make sure our speeches are different,” she said.

Chandler, thinking for a moment, said she would tell her classmates not to be afraid to try new things.

“You should explore all of the things you want to do,” she said.

Friend and fellow graduate Mary Kate Murphy knows they will be fine graduation night.

“Everyone at this school is talented in a different way,” she said. “Some, like the Burfields, are good in everything.”

The Community School of Naples graduation will be held at 4:30 p.m. today in the Community School of Naples’ Field House, 13275 Livingston Road.

25 responses to “Introducing the Class of 2013: Twins Chandler ‘13 and Taylor ‘13”

  1. Vinaya '15? says:

    wow! that’s great!

  2. Justin says:

    Pure awesomeness. I hope my friends get in next year – they’re tied for first place and are both geniuses. smile Identical twins.

  3. Shiv says:

    Hey congratulations to both of you! Best of luck at MIT!!!
    Hey Vinaya where are you from? India I am guessing?

  4. Anonymous says:

    That is incredible!

    Also, any idea when the new application will be released?

  5. Vinaya '15? says:

    @ Shiv
    Yes! I am from India.I live in North Carolina though…

  6. Hendrik says:

    I wish I had a twin so I could go to MIT

  7. Vinaya '15? says:

    lol…If only the took all the twins that applied… ^_^

  8. NathanArce says:

    Uhm, I don’t think it works like that, Hendrik ^_^”

    And they applied to join the class group on Facebook around the same time, so I figured they were related! But they also haven’t been checking their friend requests, seemingly, so I can’t even view their profile pics yet and obviously had no idea that they were identical twins (or… even the same gender. Both names are used for both genders…).

    (they didn’t even reject the requests, they’re still just sitting there, hahahah)

  9. Anonymous says:

    I know this is a delicate question to post on MIT blogs, but…

    Wow! What are the odds?

  10. Hana '13 says:

    now that is awesome.

  11. navin says:

    simply awesome :-O

  12. NathanArce says:


    Of COURSE they were read separately! What the hell kind of question is that?!

  13. anon says:


    a totally valid question…do * you * work in the admissions office?

    everyone (well, mostly) knows that MIT’s admissions consider many things, not just pure merit

    i wondered this question before too
    i don’t personally know any twins where one was rejected & one was admitted

    although, the twins i know are super awesomely accomplished raspberry

  14. Isra says:

    Mind blowing! :D
    Good luck to both of them smile

  15. jdk says:


    Let’s see, first you will need to know the total number of appl….oh, never mind.

    Just curious, were their applications read together, or separately?

  16. AX says:

    awesome! and they’re doing the same double major as me smile

  17. Divyansh says:

    hey thats awesome
    congrats to both of them

  18. Anonymous says:

    I’m an identical triplet, but i would probably not choose to continue my education with my sisters directly by my side in this way. I have spent the last 18 years working to create my own identity, and individuality is a virtue in which I strive to obtain. If that is how Chandler and Taylor wish to continue their lives than good for them and I am sure they have spent countless hours making this life-defining decision; fellow bloggers: please at least consider them individuals for their own sake and realize this to be a merely coincidental miracle.

  19. anonymous says:

    The class of 2012 has quadruplets. Imagine a tuition bill of 4x.

  20. docphil '13 says:

    @ Vinaya ’15?

    Wow you are getting a head start. I believe that you are the first ’15 that I have seen so far. I also live in North Carolina and was recently accepted to MIT. Anyway good luck.

  21. Vinaya '11? says:

    @docphil ’13
    Congratulations! Good luck to you too!
    and oops I made a mistake with the year; I’m a junior right now…. I will graduate high school in 2011; I put the year I would graduate MIT or whichever college I go to…oops….:(…lol

  22. Vinaya '15? says:

    @docphil ’13 again
    lol…apparently it is the college graduating year so Vinaya ’15? again…lol…

    Anyway, I was wondering how important are sports in mit admissions?

  23. bill says:

    their gpa is 4.76 out of 5? right?
    Their high school only had 75 graduate, mine had over 500. Valedictorians from a weak field.

    Smells like grade inflation.

  24. bill says:

    their gpa is 4.76 out of 5? right?
    Their high school only had 75 graduate, mine had over 500. Valedictorians from a weak field.

    Smells like grade inflation.

  25. bill says:

    their gpa is 4.76 out of 5? right?
    Their high school only had 75 graduate, mine had over 500. Valedictorians from a weak field.

    Smells like grade inflation.