Daemen College came together as a campus community for a memorial service held April 20 to celebrate the life of student Thomas “Tommy” Krickovich, who died in a tragic accident the night of April 15.
“Tommy’s passing has affected this community in so many ways,” said Dr. Greg Nayor, vice president for student affairs. “While we cannot bring Tommy back, we can honor his memory—the way he lived, what he believed, and what he meant to each of you.”
A graduate student in the college’s physician assistant program, Tommy was the son of Dr. Susan Krickovich, undergraduate education department chair and an associate professor at Daemen. The 24-year-old died in an accidental fall from a terrace balcony at the Pearl Street Grill & Brewery.
Speaking on behalf of the physician assistant department, Dr. Joel Patterson, associate professor, shared these heartfelt words with a capacity crowd of students, faculty and staff in attendance.
“Tommy was a fine young man whose time here on earth passed far too quickly for those of us left behind,” said Patterson. “He was a son and brother we all aspire to be, generous of his time and talents, and always willing to help his classmates when they needed it.”
Elizabeth Wright, associate dean of education, encouraged the college community to consider the words of Henry David Thoreau, who wrote that on the death of a friend, we have the task of double living. “As we slowly move forward together as a community, I challenge you to help heal yourselves by engaging in double living for Tommy,” she said. “Like Tommy, I ask you to share what you do with friends and family by tweeting about it at #DLFT (double living for Tommy).”
The on-campus service also included remembrances and touching personal reflections by fellow students of Tommy, a graduate of Lancaster High School and St. John Fisher College in Rochester. He then enrolled at Daemen to pursue a graduate degree in the physician assistant program.
As the memorial service concluded, Dr. Michael Brogan, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, said, “We live, learn, enjoy, laugh, and grieve as a community. In time, emotions will be integrated and the pain will subside. However, our memory of Tommy, as a member of the Daemen College community, will live on.”
The service ended with attendees releasing hundreds of orange and blue balloons, symbolic of Tommy’s support as a fan of Syracuse University sports, outside the Wick Campus Center.