Originally from the NYC area, I came to Illinois out of graduate school at Indiana University thinking I could do another few years at a Big Ten institution then head back east. After 3 years as a residence hall director, 4 years as an area coordinator, 17 years in various assistant director of residential life roles, I'm now in my 25th year at UI, and first as the Associate Director of Housing, director of the undergraduate residence halls. I met my husband at UI (class of December 1994), and now our oldest is a freshman here, also living in the halls. Why did I stay? Family. University Housing is not only students' "home away from home" but the staff become family of choice. There's no other place I'd want to spend my career!
My family lived in Chicago. My first two college years were at the U of I Chicago Undergraduate Division(Navy Pier) where I first enrolled in 1957. Tuition and fees were less than $200 a semester. Given the quality of instruction this was a real bargain. After several changes to my initial course of study in LAS, I decided to transfer to the U-C campus as a junior and pursue a degree in business. Campus enrollment then was about 22,000.
When I transferred to the U-C campus I lived in Armory House, an Independent facility at 1010 So. Second St. in Champaign. If you were under 21, you had to live in University approved housing. Most of my classes were in David KInley Hall, which was the only College of Commerce building. In 1959 there was no campus bus service. Bicycle paths were just being installed. Most students did not have cars and there were few parking lots. People traveled from Chicago or St. Louis to Champaign by train. The Illinois Central Railroad had special weekend fares to Chicago...less than $5 round trip.
I purchased a student Football/Basketball pass for the 1959/60 and 60/61 seasons and sat in Block I which was in the East Main stands. Huff Gym, the home of Illini basketball, had a capacity of only about 5,000, so students received tickets for every third home game. However, it was easy to buy tickets from other students so I got to see most home games.
Four things I remember most about my undergrad years:
(1) Tree stumps. Dutch Elm Disease had ravaged the tree population of Champaign and Urbana including campus. The diseased trees had been cut down but not replaced, leaving thousands of stumps where beautiful large elms had been.
(2) Homecoming. Every organized house, both Greek and Independent, decorated their front lawns during Homecoming week. In 1959, Ray Eliot's final season as Head Coach, Minnesota was our football opponent for Homecoming. We won 14-6. At Armory House we constructed a large facsimile of a gopher trap and purchased a truckload of dirt which we used to simulate a burrow leading to the trap. Many of the Homecoming exhibits were very elaborate, combining lighting, music, and art work. It seemed like everyone...students and towns people...walked the streets of Campus at night to see these amazing displays. In 1960 the U of I celebrated the 50th anniversary of Homecoming. After starting the season with two wins and many returning starters, the Illini were losers to Ohio State 34-7.
(3) The Illini vs Army. Our first home game in 1959 was against the U S Military Academy. The corps of cadets traveled by train from West Point, NY to Champaign, arriving the day before the game. Their train was parked along Neil Street near the Power Plant. They even brought their Army mule mascot. The cadets marched through campus to Memorial Stadium and a large crowd turned out to watch them. The Illini upset the Army 20-14.
(4) Campus bars. On Daniel St. between 6th and Wright there were three drinking establishments...beer only...Kam's (just west of the current location), Stan Wallace's Gridiron, and the Thunderbird, which was across the street. Other Champaign campus drinking establishments included Bidwell's Campus Spot at 619 S. Wright and Magna Decem at 6th & Green. Urbana had Prehn's and Treno's around the corner from each other at Oregon & Goodwin. The interesting thing about all of these places is that no one ever asked to see an ID.
My wife and I get to Campus frequently and the changes that have occurred during the past 20 years are amazing. So many new buildings on campus, especially north of Green St. And Campustown in Champaign has undergone a real transformation, but not so much in Urbana. All of the old wooden rooming houses which dotted the campus area have disappeared. I lived in one during a semester of grad school (Spring 1964) which was near 2nd & John Streets. It was an interesting experience.
The University's 150 year celebration has offered us an opportunity to look back on it's history and to look forward to the future. Some of the happiest days of my life were spent at the U of I and I am grateful for the education, the experience and the people I met.
Exchange year , 1986 to 1987 .
A team from the College of ACES visited Myanmar to discuss opportunities for collaboration on research and professional development in September 2014. In this image, people from Myanmar are drying out corn from the fields. The entire process is done by hand. Dr. George Czapar joined them in this image.
Famous teacher of Classical Mythology, Professor Dick Scanlan, was known for disappearing from the lecture platform in the middle of a class of 1200 students, only to return a few minutes later dressed as a toga-clad priest of Apollo, the Greek god of prophecy, in order to predict an Illinois game!
I fell in love with the University of Illinois sitting at my kitchen table, listening to story after story from my grandparents. I am the fifth generation to attend the U of I, and I am proud to say that my family has been molded by this university. You can read all about it on the Voices of ACES blog!
As advid Illini fans, our kids are as involved with Illinois Athletics as we are. As card carriers of the official Fighting Illini Kids Club, our kids get their own perks for various Illinois athletics. With Free Admission to all regular season home events for Volleyball, Women's Basketball, Soccer, Wrestling, Swimming & Dive, Gymnastics, Cross Country, Tennis, Track & Field, Softball, and Baseball my kids get to enjoy all things Illini!
Performance of the Greek Play on April 19, 1910 at the Auditorium.
This is an image of the Chinese Students Club member in 1912-13.
T. Chuang, a 1914 University of Illinois alumnus, designed this building on the Tsinghua University campus. He modeled the building after Foellinger Auditorium on the University of Illinois quadrangle.
Sarah Zehr, Laura Frerichs (Research Park), and Linda Zhao at Abbott China.
There is plenty of documented history about PLATO, the first computer-based education system in the world. An innovator of so many of today's technologies, including on-line communities, on-line education, chat, forums, inter-computer gaming, plasma technology, touch screen technology, and more.
The talent surrounding PLATO's invention and evolution is staggering, from inventor Dr. Donald Bitzer to U of I alumus and renowned international software genius Ray Ozzie to alumni who are leaders in many of the world's largest companies.
On a personal level, I first used PLATO in 1974 as a 11-year-old, later programming for many University departments. After graduating from Illinois, I returned in 1993 to lead a successful technology transfer of the original PLATO system, later rebranded as NovaNET. Just two weeks ago, NovaNET was decommissioned, ending the longest run of a single system in history, spanning more than 50 years. We are unlikely to ever see that kind of technology shelf life in a computer system/network again.
The website www.platohistory.com documents some of the stories and contributors.
Professor W. A. Oldfather, one of the most prominent first faculty in Classics, with the Hikers' Club
Dr. Raymond Price will retire from the University in September 2015. Ray was a mentor to many and started a number of lasting programs at the University, including the Illinois Leadership Center. We will miss you, Ray!
The Undergraduate Library is underground for a reason. "cuz you can’t throw shade on the corn" (Song by The Other Guys). The Morrow Plots are a national landmark, the oldest continuous agricultural experimental field in the United States. The first plots were laid out in 1876, by Professor Manly Miles, then expanded by Professor George Morrow, for whom the plots will forever be known. aces.illinois.edu/blog/no-shade-corn
Generations of families enjoy the rich traditions and tailgating pastimes at the University of Illinois. Each year my family, along with several hundred of our closest friends, get together to celebrate our love for the Fighting Illini. With great food, music and of course football, we welcome Fall in Champaign, Illinois the only way true Illini Fans can. GO Illini!
I can honestly say that path to discovery really started in the Masters Social Work Program and ended in the College of Education. My academic experiences with Dr. Halter and Dr.Downing opened my mind to the need for social justice. Though their mentorship, they put me on the path of discovery. But it was within the College of Education that I was tested, challenged, and shaped into the academic professional and social justice advocate I am today. I owe a great deal to the direction and mentorship of Drs. Alexander, Trent, Anderson, and Parker. When talking to my peers in the field who attended other universities, I realize how blessed I am to have them be a part of my shaping. These great scholars are a true representation in regard to the greatness of the University of Illinois.
Karen Weng, an employee in the University's China Office, has a cat who is an Illinois fan!
Classics Honors Society Eta Sigma Phi hosts luncheon and State Latin contest on May 7, 1928.
I arrived on campus in January 1947 (a few months shy of my 18th birthday) I left New York by train at 3:30pm and arrived in Chicago at 8am. I missed the train to Champaign-Urbana, so I spent the day in Chicago. Arrived after dark that evening and took a cab to my new residence (which said stadium). I did not realize that I was sleeping in the football stadium with a locker and I had my clothes in a trunk under my bed. The next morning I heard that I needed a time table to register for my classes (i thought a time table was for a train). Anyway, for a 17 year old boy it was quite an experience. Many of my friends were older as they had served in World War II. I got a job in the Illini Union and ended up on the Dean's List my first year. I graduated in 3 1/2 years as I took 40 credits my last year. I got married (was unable to attend the graduation ceremony) went to work and 1 1/2 years later ended up in Korea. Funny but my commanding officer had also graduated from Illinois.
PS: I had sent a copy of my diploma and a map of the campus last year to the committee which was forming this event.
At lunch, the waiter at Timpone's told our group that the restaurant has been on campus for more than 30 years and that the menu constantly changes. The one exception is the warm goat cheese and arugula salad, which has been on the menu since the beginning!
Bruce Vojak, an administrator in the College of Engineering, participates in agriculture research in 2012.
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner visited the Community & Campus Day of Service in April 2015 to help with distributing more than 10,000 meals to families in need after devastating tornadoes in northern Illinois. An additional 148,000 meals were delivered to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank to benefit local families.
So there we were, my mother and I, standing side-by-side on the patio of the Illini Union, at noon on a warm and sunny October day in 1974.
It was "visit the campus day" and it was fantastic. To me, anyway. I was already in love with U of I, having visited it several times for workshops and high school basketball championships.
My mom, who was preparing to let go of her first baby (me), the first young woman in the family who'd go to college, looked out over the Quad where thousands of students passed by on that lunch hour. "There are so many people here," my mother said, her voice full of concern. "It's so big." How would her first child find her way and rise to achieve on this campus? Not get lost? Literally or figuratively? Even figure out how to get back to the dorm?
My response? "Yeah! Isn't it great?," I asked, just plowing ahead. That's what kids do. Right? I was, of course, doing my job.
My mother wisely kept the rest of her comments or thoughts to herself. And she and my father were thrilled when I received my acceptance that winter. My U of I experience was everything I hoped it would be. And more. But I remembered my mom's concerns. And she saw, over the next four years, the benefits of attending a university "as large as" U of I. It was a good decision -- for me to apply and graduate from U of I, and for my parents to let me go. Thanks, Mom and Dad!