Best ‘bad day’ leads to love

Ken Krug ’10 (software engineering) and Julie Zepke ’09 (industrial design) were married in 2011. Ken plays Ritchie at the Presidents’ Alumni Ball during Brick City Homecoming & Family Weekend each year and Julie is Ritchie’s helper.

Ken Krug ’10 (software engineering) wasn’t in the best mood on that January day in 2007 when he walked into Gannett Hall to help recruit freshman orientation assistants.

That morning, he found a parking ticket on his Dodge Neon in the lot behind Kate Gleason Hall and he was late to his 8 a.m. class. After class, he discovered a second ticket on his car parked in S Lot. Frustrated, he ditched the car and pedaled his bicycle through the slushy campus to get to his recruiting assignment.

That’s where he met Julie Zepke ’09 (industrial design), who thought it was odd that out of the more than 100 recruiters, her partner wasn’t from her college and she hadn’t met him when they both worked as orientation assistants the previous summer.

But they connected. They both listened to country music. They both cheered for the Boston Red Sox. And they both drove Dodge Neons. (Ken’s Neon was white; Julie’s was red.)

“I wrote his name in my assignment planner to look him up on Facebook,” says Julie, from Glastonbury, Conn.

Ken, a native of Great Bend, Pa., also was thinking about Julie that night. “I was telling my roommates how terrible my day was with the exception of meeting this girl.”

The two connected on Facebook and planned a first date for the following Friday—only Ken’s bad luck continued. An ice storm hit Rochester and the weather was too terrible to go out. Ken trudged from his residence hall to Riverknoll, where Julie lived, and they watched The Boondock Saints.

They began spending more time together. Ken left his job in the Gordon Field House and Activities Center ticket booth to play his trumpet in the Pep Band with Julie, who played alto sax. Ken also started playing Ritchie during the Presidents’ Alumni Ball at Brick City Homecoming & Family Weekend. Julie tagged along as Ritchie’s helper. In August 2010, they got engaged and they were married a year later on Aug. 6. Orange was their wedding color.

Ken, who works as a software engineer at Brand Networks in Rochester, continues to play Ritchie at the alumni ball, with Julie’s help. Julie is a product designer at Skooba Design in Rochester. They also continue to attend hockey games.

Both say they were attracted to RIT in high school because it was one of the few universities at the time to offer programs in their areas of interest. Ken looked at a cheaper in-state school but he says he was swayed by RIT’s reputation.

“Good decision,” Julie says, smiling at Ken. “Good decision.”

About Tiger Love

There are more than 4,600 RIT alumni couples. Tiger Love is a new series that profiles some of them. If you have a suggestion of a Tiger couple to feature from any decade—they don’t have to be newlyweds, email The University Magazine at