NEW HAVEN -- Walk down the street in this college town, and you might not notice Barbara Bush. She could be any Yale senior eating ice cream outside a candy shop, except for the Secret Service agent at her side.
Her twin sister, Jenna, shares that life of relative anonymity at the University of Texas at Austin.
College ends within the next few days for both of President Bush's daughters, for Jenna today, with a degree in English, and for Barbara on Monday, with a degree in the humanities.
Their commencement exercises should be as low-key as their four years of study. Neither the president nor Laura Bush will attend, fearing that the extra security would detract from the festivities. Instead, the family plans private dinners with friends in each college town.
Except for a highly publicized incident at a Texas bar and a few gossip-column appearances, the 22-year-old sisters have stayed out of the limelight that follows a president's children. Their schools, friends, classmates, and professors have kept tightlipped about the sisters' private lives.
Being just a regular student was a challenge from the beginning. In 2000, just months before the disputed presidential election, Barbara arrived at Yale. She was the fourth generation of Bushes to attend the prestigious, 303-year-old Ivy League school. Her father was born at Yale, while her grandfather, George H.W. Bush, was a student there.
Barbara lived in the same residential college, Davenport College, as her father. Yale divides each class among 12 residential colleges, each with its own dorms, dining halls, sports, activities, and coats of arms. Davenport's is three crosses and a chevron in black on a white shield.
In Austin, Jenna blended in with the 50,000 students on the sprawling campus. The capital city was like home; she had lived in the governor's mansion during the six years her father was the state's chief executive.
Like their mother, the twins joined the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. Barbara has been said to be a member of Skull and Bones, the secret society for Yale seniors that tapped her great-grandfather, grandfather, and father for membership.
In May 2001, authorities accused the then-19-year-old sisters of having drinks at a Mexican restaurant in Austin.
Barbara pleaded no contest to underage possession of alcohol. She was ordered to perform eight hours of community service and attend alcohol-awareness class.
It was the second alcohol-related offense for Jenna. She was fined $600 for trying to use a false ID. She lost her driver's license for 30 days, had to do more community service, and attend an alcohol-awareness class.
After graduation, the sisters plan to travel with friends, then help with their father's reelection campaign, said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for Laura Bush.
"While they're not very political people, they do want to do something to help their dad out," Johndroe said.
Both plan to get jobs or attend graduate school, he said. Each had a summer internship in New York, Barbara at a fashion house, Jenna at a public relations firm.
A visit to Africa has inspired Barbara to work with AIDS sufferers, he said, while Jenna is interested in following her mother's career in education.