Set of NJ Quintuplets Graduating From Montclair State This Year

The Totowa siblings will graduate from Montclair State University on Monday.

The Povolo quintuplets of Totowa, NJ
The Povolo quintuplets from left: Ludovico, Victoria, Michael, Ashley and Marcus. Photo: Courtesy of Mike Peters/Montclair State University

This is a very special graduation year for the Povolo family, as the couple’s quintuplets are all set to graduate at the same time from Montclair State University on Monday, May 13.

And when the 21-year-old siblings walk across the stage at Newark’s Prudential Center, it’ll be the first time a set of quintuplets have graduated from a New Jersey college at the same time.

The quintuplets grew up in Totowa. They are first-generation Americans, and the first generation in their family to attend college—and they are the couple’s only children; both parents are from Italy.

They will earn degrees in five different majors:

  • Victoria, biochemistry; Italian minor
  • Ludovico, political science; pre-law and business minors
  • Ashley, English; Teacher Education Program, certification in P-12
  • Michael, nutrition and food science; dietetics concentration
  • Marcus, business administration; international business concentration

The chances of giving birth to quintuplets are rare—roughly 1 in 60 million. And this set entered the world with a bang on July 4, 2002 at St. Joe’s Hospital in Paterson—the hospital’s first set of quintuplets. On their first birthday a local newspaper dubbed them “Five Little Firecrackers.”

The Povolo quintuplets of Totowa, NJ

They’re earning degrees in five different majors. Photo: Courtesy of Mike Peters/Montclair State University

The siblings say their parents, Paolo, a building engineer for Cushman & Wakefield, and Silvia, a housekeeping supervisor at Montclair State University, instilled a strong work ethic and encouraged them to follow their dreams.

Each Povolo sibling had choices when it came to colleges and thought about splitting up. But in the end, they elected to stay together. It also helped that the high-achieving students qualified for generous academic scholarships and need-based grants that in total amounted to a tuition-free four years at Montclair State.

The siblings say they’re thankful to Montclair State for the financial support and plan to pay it forward.

Povolo quintuplets

A local newspaper dubbed the quintuplets the “five little firecrackers” when they were born. Photo: Courtesy of the Povolo family

What’s next for the siblings?

Victoria wants to work and save money to attend medical school and study forensic medicine.

Michael will continue at Montclair State to earn a Master of Science in nutrition.

Ludovico (“Vico”) plans to begin work as a sales and marketing representative for Techtronic Industries in northern New Jersey.

Ashley, a future teacher, is completing her clinical experience as an Advanced Placement teacher for high school English.

Marcus has landed a job with the financial giant JPMorgan Chase & Co.

pavolo quintuplets

All five students will graduate at the same ceremony. Photo: Courtesy of Mike Peters/Montclair State University

But first, they have to manage commencement, which will likely be an emotional day for the whole family—and a very busy one. Five kids, five different majors.

One of the quintuplets, Victoria, says it’s both exciting and bittersweet: “We’ve worked so hard to make it to this point.” But there’s also an awareness that this may be one of the last milestones they share as a unit.

“Our mom is for sure going to cry,” says Victoria. “It’s a guarantee.”

The university, which holds two commencements for students based on their college or school, has made accommodations so that the Povolos can receive their diplomas together at the morning ceremony on May 13.

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