Marine vet, student attend SMU together
Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
For many father-daughter relationships the college years can be a time of distance and separation, but for two of SMU’s very own, the college experience has created an even stronger bond.
SMU senior Amie Kromis and her father, U.S. Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Kromis now share more in common than just kinship—they are also peers.
Thomas is now a transfer student on the Hilltop studying Applied Physiology and Sports Management after honorably serving 21 years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
He entered SMU as a junior, and received credit he earned while in the Corps.
Amie Kromis, a senior communication studies and religious studies major, is thrilled that her father is now a fellow Mustang.
She said that at first, her father was torn between attending SMU or TCU. She is glad he chose SMU and able to give her additional support in her final year. Her decision to attend SMU stemmed from an earlier visit to campus with her father.
“About five years ago my father bought season tickets and we came to SMU to see a football game. I fell in love with the campus,” she said.
Before Thomas Kromis decided to attend SMU, the two found it difficult to spend quality time together as Thomas pursued a career in the Marine Corps and Amie dedicated herself to her studies. They now find their close proximity to be a positive change of pace in their lives.
“This college experience has brought us more close together, especially since normally these might be the years when a father would see less of their daughter. I get to see more of her now than ever before,” Thomas Kromis said.
Although on campus together, the two find it to be a real treat when they are able to carve in time for dinner after class said Thomas Kromis.
The father and daughter see each other every Tuesday and Thursday after her political communication seminar.
“This is mostly due to our non-traditional relationship during my career as a U.S. Marine. Before, her and I being together involved plane tickets, hotels, etc., so it became very expensive,” Thomas said.
Thomas finds that his years serving our country have served him well as he completes his degree.
“The lessons I learned as a young Marine helped me succeed during my career, school, and life in general,” he said.
He is able to attend SMU while receiving G.I. bill benefits, the SMU Opportunity Award, and the Tuition Equalization grant.
Thomas and Amie are both busy individuals as full-time students committed to extra-curricular activities.
Thomas works full-time as department head at Life Time Fitness between classes.
Amie is a resident assistant in Boaz Hall, the political action chair for the Association of Black Students, a student representative on a board of trustees committee and SMU student ambassador.
“This experience has brought us together on an entirely different level. We relate to each other as students and peers in addition to family,” Amie Kromis said.