by Greg Johnson ‘05
During a women’s basketball home game in mid-December, NWC Head Coach Aaron Kahl looked across the court and noticed that one of his players was sitting in the stands dressed in street clothes. “Why is Calli Durst not on the bench?” he thought of the freshman. Kahl looked down at the row of players behind him and saw that Calli was indeed dressed in her Eagles uniform and engaged in the game. “Strange,” he thought. Then Kahl saw a third version of Calli dressed completely different from the other two he had seen, and then it hit him. “Ah, yes. The Durst family is here.”
Born on February 10, 1993 at 10:51 p.m., Calli Durst became a big sister faster than most girls. Her sister Kendra was born a minute later, followed by Megan and Sarah. And thus, the legacy of the Durst quadruplets began. Because there are only about five dozen sets of identical quadruplets worldwide, the Durst quads have easily gained attention since birth.
Throughout their youth, the quads made the rounds of TV talk show appearances from Jay Leno to Montel Williams to Maury Povich. Years ago, Leno told Oprah Winfrey, “You don’t interview the Durst quadruplets, you referee them.”
“That's definitely a true story,” Calli said. “Growing up and becoming adults, we’ve changed a little bit. But through the years, from the first time we were on TV together until we were 10 years old, I think all we did was fight and bicker with our super high-pitched voices!”
Starring in reality TV
Signing up for their own reality TV series Four of a Kind on Lifetime was a decision the Durst quads made together. “We sat down together to think and talk about whether to do the show or not because we knew it would be life-changing and we’d have to all stick together through it,” said Calli. After filming for three months in 2010, the eldest of the quads learned from her experience. “I was in for a big awakening when we signed those papers,” she said. “The show made me very aware of my choice of words—what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. How did I want my attitude to be shown through TV?”
Calli is quick to acknowledge that despite meeting famous people and having a television show, the Durst family lives a normal life. “The show doesn’t define who I am.”
New place, new identity
Going to college gave Calli an opportunity to discover herself away from her sisters. “I’ve been able to branch out and not be known as one of the Durst quads or someone from TV,” noted the Buffalo, Minn. native. “It’s been an awesome opportunity to not be recognized. Everyone from Buffalo knows who we are together and individually, so it’s cool to be here and not be compared to my sisters. Plus, I don’t have anyone to argue with here!”
Calli is also gaining perspective on her education as an elementary education major who wants to teach kindergarten.
“I knew I wanted to attend a Christian college, but I feel like I’ve grown so much more in the past semester and a half than I have in my three previous years as a believer,” said the 19-year-old. “It has been very good for me to have chapel every day and to have professors who pray before class begins and who are very approachable.”
Calli admits her outlook on basketball has changed since becoming an Eagle. “Coming to Northwestern has taught me that it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, but rather, ‘What are your intentions before you go out and play?’ Our team plays for an eternal scoreboard and we have the opportunity to publicly display Christ. That’s not something everyone gets to do.”