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A walk to remember

A walk to remember

Nicole L. Craw September 14, 2022
Tom Swidarski '80 and Sue Skerkoski Swidarski '80

When the daughter of Tom Swidarski ’80 and Sue Skerkoski Swidarski ’80 was trying to choose between Penn State and the University of Dayton for college, Nikki ’12 took a different approach to reach her decision. She took a walk across each campus, not saying a word to anyone, just to see how she would feel.

“At Penn State, across the whole campus, she got two or three people who just acknowledged her,” said Tom, CEO of Cleveland-based Telos Alliance. “In Dayton, she started to walk through campus, maybe just 200 yards, and got 10 hellos. She said it was such a different feeling and a different spirit here.” 

“She said it was such a different feeling and a different spirit here.” 

Nikki’s story perfectly embodies the community of the University of Dayton said Tom and Sue, who met on campus their freshman year. 

Tom served on the University board of trustees for several years and, in 2018, he and Sue established the Thomas and Susan Swidarski Family Scholarship. This January, the couple, both 1980 graduates, decided to match an additional amount toward their scholarship endowment to help more students in immediate need during the next several years.

“Dayton holds a special place for us and always will,” Tom said. “There’s nothing better than to help someone gain a foundation at a great university like Dayton — and hope they have the same experience that, quite frankly, changed our lives.”

Making an investment in UD students, Tom said, is something he and Sue take great pride in. 

“The caliber of students at Dayton is just mind-boggling in terms of how mature and confident they are —  I am just blown away by their talent.”  

Absolutely FABS