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Buckeye Brothers in Arms…and Paws

When Robert and William Kerpsack graduated from the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1956, they became the first set of twins to ever graduate at the same time in the college’s history.

However, this is only where their story begins, as this unique pair of alumni has a rich history deeply rooted in the Scarlet and Gray. The Youngstown, Ohio natives, who will turn 85 years young in October, started their collegiate education at Youngstown State University, where they spent two full years before transferring to Ohio State to conclude their journey as pre-veterinary majors.

Subsequently, the brothers stayed in Columbus after graduation and attended The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine to receive their doctorate degrees in small animal veterinary medicine.

Robert and William also participated in other activities while at Ohio State. The two joined the ROTC program during their time as undergraduates along with over 6,000 other men on campus — who, due to the ongoing Korean War, were all subject to the United States Army draft.


And as graduation day from the College of Veterinary Medicine occured, these two had no idea they were in store for more than just a diploma. “The same day we graduated, my brother and I were also sworn into the U.S. Army,” William said.

After spending six years at Ohio State, these brothers traded in the scarlet and gray for the red, white, and blue — but continued to pursue work in veterinary medicine through the biological area of the Army. In turn, this desire led the two to Frederick, Maryland, where they worked together at the United States Army Biological Warfare Laboratories.

“[Robert and William] worked as pathologists and did research on monkeys infected with anthrax, bubonic plague, and tularensis,” Robert said.

The Kerpsacks spent a handful of years with the Army before in 1960, William returned to Youngstown to own his own small animal practice — and three years later, Robert joined him as a partner at Kerpsack Veterinary Clinic.

Now in 2016, the twins are still working together in their Ohio hometown with a great staff of eight people. They have also passed on the Buckeye tradition to their own families, as three other Kerpsack sons have attended Ohio State since the duo graduated 60 years ago.

Last updated: 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 - 4:55pm