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Roommates randomly assigned, randomly honored with same award

Madison Mcnary / Lantern photographer

Horror stories can be written about the dreaded random roommate assignment of freshman year; it can lead to lifelong friendships or yearlong frustrations.

For former roommates Drew Enigk and Graham Welling, fourth-years in animal science, and city and regional planning and Russian, respectively, a new story can be written. These randomly assigned roommates were honored Feb. 10 with the Board of Trustee’s Student Recognition Award for their academics, service and leadership within their respective colleges.

This award isn’t usually given to two former roommates at the same time, and Enigk and Welling didn’t even know the other had gotten the award until a few days before the meeting.

“It was crazy,” Welling said. “We were like, ‘What happened in room 333 Bradley Hall?’ That lady who picks all the roommates, she must have known what she was doing.”

The two were randomly chosen roommates in Bradley Hall freshmen year and decided to room together again in Bradley their sophomore year in a quad with two other friends.

“At first I thought he was messing with me,” Enigk said. “Then eventually we realized that wow, they really chose both of us for this award. It’s just the funniest coincidence, out of all the thousands of people they could have chosen.”

Enigk and Welling have extensive resumes in their fields and keep busy in student organizations. Welling has been to Moscow twice to study abroad and has written a review of the city planning in Russian which will run in an annual review in October, and is vice president of OSU’s Russian Club. Enigk studied abroad in Australia for a quarter with aid from the Wolfe Study Abroad Scholarship, has interned at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and the Saint Louis Zoo, is a member of the Sphinx Senior Class Honorary and is an ambassador for his college.

“Drew’s amazing.” Welling said. “He’s always been super involved, and I feel like I’m driven too, so maybe being around each other there wasn’t competition, but it reinforces that work ethic. If I had a roommate who was slacking off and partying all week, it would have been harder for me to stay focused.”

Other than being passionate about their studies, they bring a lot of personality to the table. Enigk and Welling said they like to stay active, which is something they first bonded over. Enigk Rollerblades or cycles as a means of transportation, and picked up ballroom dancing throughout his time at OSU. Welling stays active with running and working out, and has a part-time job as a Campus Area Bus Service (CABS) driver.

“Most of my friends are usually surprised to see me with real shoes on,” Enigk said. “Because I’m Rollerblading about 95 percent of the time.”

Enigk shared a story of their sophomore year when they rode their bikes nine miles to a reggae concert in Worthington, just to get there and find out it was a 21 and up show. They had to sell their tickets back half price and ride all the way back, but not before Welling ordered some Jamaican jerk chicken.

Enigk and Welling said being honored with is award together at the end of their undergraduate careers made the experience that much better.

“It was pretty cool we got to plan out what we would say,” Welling said. “And I feel like if it were me up there with some random person in front of the Board of Trustees, I would have been a little nervous, but since it was me and Drew, it was a cool experience.”

Enigk said he hopes to attend graduate school in the fall at one of the seven schools to which he has applied, studying either biological or evolutionary anthropology, and Welling has prospects for a job after graduation somewhere in Ohio with city and regional planning, but is considering taking a year off to teach English in Russia.

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