The McCaughey septuplets are high school graduates. The seven famous siblings graduated from Carlisle High School in Iowa on Sunday, 18 years after their high-profile birth made national headlines, according to the Des Moines Register.
During the ceremony, Alexis and Natalie McCaughey were named as part of the National Honor Society, while their sister Natalie was also part of the academic top 15 percent of the class.
The early years of McCaughey septuplets — Brandon, Joel, Nathan, Kenny Jr., Natalie, Alexis, and Kelsey — were heavily documented by the media. The babies made headlines when they were born as the world’s first set of surviving septuplets, all weighing between 2.5 and 3.4 pounds, on November 19, 1997. The McCaughey septuplets and their big sister, Mikayla, appeared on the cover of Good Housekeeping annually for many years.
While the septuplets’ parents, Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey, turned down media interviews just ahead of the graduation, they previously revealed that all seven of their children were promised a free college education at Hannibal-LaGrange University in Missouri. According to KCII News, at least two of the McCaughey septuplets plan to attend Hannibal-LaGrange University, while others will join the military and the workforce.
In an interview with KETV last fall, Kenny McCaughey Jr. said he would miss his siblings as they all go their separate ways.
“I’m definitely going to miss everybody, being so close to everyone,” he said. “It’s going to be hard just to see us all go, especially my brother Brandon going into the military. (He) and I were the closest. I’m going to miss him a lot.”
Brandon McCaughey’s service in the military starts June 1, but it’s a goal he has had since he was a little boy.
Last fall, he told the Des Moines Register he was already sworn in.
“I’m going into the Army,” Brandon said last November. “I’m already sworn in. All I have to do is stay in shape, not do anything bad, then go into basic. I knew that I was always inspired by my uncle Jason when he was in Afghanistan a long time ago.”
While Brandon will go on active duty in the Army, Kenny will study building trades at Des Moines Area Community College. Their sister Kelsey, a member of the all-state choir, plans to pursue a career in music. Natalie, Joel, and Nathan will all leave their home state of Iowa for college. Natalie will study elementary education while her brothers will study computer science. Alexis McCaughey, who has cerebral palsy, will stay closer to home to pursue preschool education at Des Moines Area Community College.
After the McCaughey septuplets were born, the family made headlines for everything from the babies’ progress to the family’s freebies, including a seven-bedroom house, free vacations, and those free college tuition offers. But Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey have been careful to make sure the septuplets don’t think they’ve been given a free ride in life. Kenny McCaughey works at a metal coating company and his wife is a para-educator for special needs kids, and they’ve instilled a strong work ethic in all of their kids.
“My fear has always been that they see our jobs and think that’s all they need for nice stuff,” Kenny told the Register last fall. “I’ve given them the cold, hard truth slowly. No way could I afford this home on my salary. If you want something, you have to work for it.”
As for their impending empty nest, Bobbi McCaughey said she and her husband are ready for their family’s next chapter.
“It will be pretty drastic,” she said. “Everyone gone all at once. It’s sad to see things end, but there will be a lot of firsts coming… You always think, ‘What could I have done differently?’ But I think they are all ready for the next step. They all turned out pretty well.”
Take a look at the video below to see an update on the McCaughey septuplets.
[Image via Shutterstock]