Shipshape Illini

When Illinois alumni chimed in on how they exercised during their time on campus, the top answer was (as verbalized by Carole Butterfield Fox ’71 LAS) “walking, walking, everywhere!” While some replies mentioned intramurals or visits to various gyms, other activities were more spontaneous, such as jogging or roller skating. And for a really strenuous workout, try this (above): New members of Omega Psi Phi perform a tradition central to many African-American fraternities and sororities—“stepping” on the Quad. (1978 Illio photo)
Whether it’s walking, WIMPE or wielding beer mugs, Illinois students exercise their bodies as well as their minds. (Oh, and did we mention walking?)

As a University of Illinois student, it’s easy to bury yourself in books—or the bars—during your time on campus. But study breaks have their sanity-saving place, and Illinois Alumni recently asked alumni what they had done for physical exercise.

The answers came flooding in, with memories of walking the big winner (residents of the distant Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Halls being particularly vocal).

“The Great Streak of 1974 aside, we walked everywhere, except on the absolutely worst days,” says George H. Scheetz ’74 LAS, MS ’76 LIS. “Then we spent 10 cents to take the Illibus.” Shubhada Naik, PHD ’70 ACES, recalls “trudging from … married student housing to Turner Hall and back every day.” Here’s Taz Goznobi’s ’96 BUS quick summary: “Busey-Evans to bus stop, bus stop to classroom, then back to the dorm same way, every single day.”

IMPE, WIMPE and the Armory provided numerous opportunities to exercise, as well as the more unusual venues, such as “working at the swine research farm, hauling feed sacks around,” (Catherine Baye Wallace ’87 ACES).

Several write-ins referred to the time-honored practice of guzzling grog, or as Al Chaps ’79 ED puts it, “elbow bends and wrist tilts at Murphy’s.” Bicycling, jogging, swimming and tennis also cropped up frequently as ways to stay fit.

The all-around champ appears to be Rich Noland ’69 ENG, who helped maintain his physique by successfully combining schoolwork, sports and social life. “We had P.E. required, 1965-69,” he explains. “I wrestled at Illinois and [did] intramural sports. I danced at Chances R several nights a week. [And] we walked or rode bikes to class and work.”

For more Illini exercise memories, read on.

Dawn Sweeney Munson ’90 ACES: Running the steps at Krannert.

Amy Sheppard Morose ’85 MEDIA: Cycling around South Farms.

John Matras ’70 LAS: Ten-speed, back when they were still rare. If you heard my bell, you best be out of the way!

Bradley A. Hix ’88 LAS: Cross-country skiing to my history class final exam in December 1983.

Jeremy Biewer ’96 LAS: How ’bout late-night Rollerblade tag on the Quad?

Ellyn Chantos ’92 ED: Aerobics at Bromley Hall.

Ann Power Wildman ’86 BUS: PAR to Altgeld at 8 a.m. five days a week. Oh yeah, it was first semester of freshman year!

Darryl DeBow ’93 ENG: Two words: Marching Illini.

Lisa Stohs ’87 ENG: Racquetball and fencing at IMPE.

Harold Read ’77: Frisbee at Allerton.

Gary Stott ’80 LAS: Up [the] stairs to fifth-floor Oglesby, walking to engineering buildings from FAR, roller skating in Kenney Gym

Wendy Reutebuch ’96 LAS: Yoga at the University YMCA.

Eric Wyers ’96 ENG: Lifting Flying Tomato Brothers pizza slices out of the box.