BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 15, 2012 – The Lomaka family found out their family was growing on April Fools' Day, although it took a few ultrasounds before all four babies appeared. Now, 18 years later, there is no fooling around as the family gets ready to move their children to campus – making history at Virginia Tech as the first set of quadruplets to enroll.
The three brothers and one sister, of Richmond, Va., all agree that Virginia Tech is the place for them, even though each will pursue very different academic and career paths. The oldest, Greg Lomaka, will major in statistics in the College of Science. The second oldest, Steve Lomaka, will major in information systems in the Pamplin College of Business. The third oldest, Chris Lomaka will major in building construction in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. The youngest member of the quadruplets, Kate Lomaka, will major in human nutrition, foods, and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Steve was the first to decide he wanted to be a Hokie. “I pretty much chose Virginia Tech when I was five years old. I visited campus for the first time as a high school junior during spring break, but I had watched the football games since I was a kid and fell in love with the school.”
Greg, Chris, and Kate debated going to other schools, but ultimately they decided to make Blacksburg their home as well. Chris almost did not even apply to Virginia Tech. “It was always a school I really wanted to go to, but I didn’t think I would be accepted," admitted Chris. "But my dad nudged me and the rest is history.”
The big school in a small town environment was the perfect balance for the siblings, who have decided to live apart in different residential halls. “I can go days without seeing my brothers and sister if I really don’t want to, or I can see them every day if I want,” said Steve.
While each is excited to get their own start and have a chance to make their own friends, they still have comfort in knowing they are in the same spot, just as they have been growing up. “As cliché as it sounds, being quadruplets is like living with three of your best friends,” said Greg. “You are always with them. It’s fun.”
They have spent enough time together to grow close, and of course, give the only girl in the group some tough love. “I’ve gone through my fair share of abuse from them,” laughed Kate. “It’s definitely friendly teasing. I see some of my friends who are so sensitive to everything. They haven’t learned to deal with criticism. But I’m just one of the guys.”
They may all have to be ready for some criticism, as they have already formed a competition for their first year. “There is a bet going on between them on who is going to gain the freshman 15. Or maybe it’ll be the freshman 60 if you all gain 15,” their mom, Tina Lomaka, joked.
Besides cooking less, Tina and her husband Steve will have a lot of adjustments once the quadruplets leave home. “It’s going to be really quiet at home. I’m going to miss them terribly. They have been a huge part of my life,” said Tina. “They are wonderful kids. I’m not looking forward to them leaving me. But they grow up and I have to let them go. Maybe one day I will enjoy the peace and quiet.”
The Lomaka’s will have one child left at home, 16-year-old Matthew who has Down syndrome, but is the “life of the party,” according to the family. An older sister, 22-year-old Lauren, will also call Blacksburg home this year as she begins studies at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine.
“Being at one school will make it easier on us as parents. We will rent one truck and move them all in at the same time. One family weekend, one football game weekend to concentrate on, instead of being spread out. I have friends with quadruplets and quintuplets that are separated by states, and I can’t imagine,” said Tina. “We are so blessed that all of them made it into Virginia Tech. It’s a great school. We couldn’t be happier.”