WPU: A Tyrell Family Tradition

Jul 2, 2024

Sticking together is a big emphasis in the Tyrell family.

So parents Donolly and Tamika must take pride in knowing part of their tribe has continued to stick together at William Peace University.

The Tyrell family to WPU pipeline started with Donolly, Jr., who attended WPU from 2019-2022 and was a Pacers’ basketball team member.

Next came Donolique, who was a freshman when his older brother was a junior. Donolique also played hoops for the Pacers. And now a third brother has joined: Donollyn just completed his freshman year at WPU. Meanwhile, Donolique, who just graduated in May, is now a full-time staff member at WPU in the admissions department.

“It’s kind of like a second home,” Donolique said about the downtown Raleigh campus. “It’s very special.”

Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Donolique graduated from West Johnston High School and is one of nine Tyrell siblings.

His oldest sister, Donalyse, attended Methodist College in Fayetteville before Donolly Jr. started the family pilgrimage to WPU. Donalyse is getting married on campus on February 25, 2025. Donolique, affectionately known as Lique around campus, said his brother put in a good word about WPU. Lique spent a lot of time on campus anyway, visiting Donolly or attending his games, so he was already familiar. Once basketball coach Claude Shields offered Lique a chance to play for the Pacers, it sealed the deal.

Lique joked that he didn’t even need a tour once he decided to attend WPU.

On Campus Together

Being on campus, and sharing a dorm room, with Donolly, was like having a “personal counselor” for Lique.

“Not only academic counselors, but someone, if I had something going on, on campus to talk to, that was very special,” Lique said.

Lique automatically filled that same role for Donollyn.

“I tried to be,” Lique said. “Anything, especially academics, I tried to give my best input because we took the same classes. I was basically his peer tutor/advisor/counselor. Whenever he had a question I was most likely able to answer it.”

Like Lique, Donollyn is a Simulation and Game Design major. Donolly wasn’t in the SGD program but took a game design class as an elective. Roger Christman taught all three Tyrell brothers.

“Having three siblings all come to WPU is unique and the opportunity of having each in your class is even more special,” Christman said. “Each is individually awesome but importantly all three share common values of an eagerness to learn, being a caring supportive classmate to all and are active WPU community contributors. They are role model students who are smart, fun and engaging.”

Deanna Rogers, Director of Academic Support, hired each of the Tyrell brothers, starting with Donolly, to work in the Center for Student Success.

They all care about helping other students and using their talents to the best of their abilities,” Rogers said.

The Next Generation

With three (and a possible fourth) children having already studied at Peace, it’s safe to say the Tyrell parents are comfortable with WPU.

“They love the school,” Lique said. “They like how personable it is and how calm the atmosphere is. They like small schools; not too much to get into. They feel like we’re safe. We never had a problem with a potential threat, so they know it’s safe.”

It goes back to what Lique calls a core value his family has – sticking together.

“That’s the main emphasis in our family is helping each other out,” Lique said. “Always being there for one another.”

And the tradition may continue.

Donolyjah is 17 and already showing interest in WPU. Donolyle, 11, and Donolyam, 7, are impressed with the fact their older brothers learn about designing video games, and what better way to grab the attention of two preteens than video games.

“We come back with our stories and what we are studying and they are automatically interested,” Lique said. “We don’t have to do too much promotion at this point because we’ve already shared that experience with them.”