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Lucky number 13

Lucky number 13

Shea Donovan '22 September 29, 2021

A family of Flyers has attended more than a decade of Family Weekends.

The three Krokey brothers — Jimmy ’13, Tom ’18 and Jake ’21 — all found their home away from home at UD. For years, the Krokey family has gathered together to celebrate their love for UD at Family Weekend with at least one of their boys as a student. This Sept. 24-26, the family marked 13 in a row — their final one before Jake graduates in December.

For the Krokeys, Family Weekends have become an anticipated tradition — a recognition of the Dayton family that has brought their own family together year after year, they said.

Jim and Rebecca Krokey recall sitting in the backyards of their sons’ houses for hours upon hours each year, sharing stories and memories.

All engineers, the three sons agree that UD was the best decision of their lives. Jim and Rebecca, too, said they sensed the happiness UD brought to their sons from the very beginning. 

The Krokey family poses during their 13th Family Weekend.
The Krokey family: Jim, Jake, Rebecca, Tom, Penny (woof) and Jimmy


More than 13 years ago, as college decision time was nearing for Jimmy, Jim asked him how Dayton made him feel. It felt right, he said, and the passion in that decision was unmistakable. The same was true of Tom and Jake, especially when they visited other universities.

“It always went back to, ‘It’s nice, but it’s not Dayton!’” said Jim.

Leaving Jimmy at UD for the first time was emotional, said his parents. He was their first, he didn’t know many people and he was nervous. Jim and Rebecca couldn’t help but feel emotional as they drove away, they said.

But when the time came to drop off Tom, they said they felt better already knowing how great UD was. High-fives and hugs were accompanied by feelings of warmth and excitement, they said.

“You always say 'community' or 'family'" when you think of Dayton,” Jim said, “and that’s what it was.”

By the time Jake made his decision, he had already spent almost half his life bleeding blue and red. His acceptance letter made him emotional, and he said he knew immediately — Dayton was it.

As Jake’s first day as a Flyer approached, Jim said his son would make this joke: “When you drop me off, you’re just going to open the door and be like, ‘Alright, see you later man, have fun.’”

The family said they were a little sad this year, as this Family Weekend marks the last for the family, but Dayton will forever remain a meaningful part of their lives.

“I’m going to miss going to campus, but as you can tell, we can talk about Dayton forever,” said Rebecca. “There will always be stories.”

Photos by Andrew Buchanan '22.

Lasting love