38 things we love about Illinois: No. 1

Alma Mater (Photo by L. Brian Stauffer)
From venerable agriculture to the computer revolution, rare books to Round Barns, Homecoming parades to tunnel walks, these are a few of our favorite things about our favorite institution of higher education.

1. Alma Mater
More Mother than ever—outstretched arms eternally bearing a message from past to future—she and her companions, Learning and Labor, rise from granite plaza and plinth, dark brown robes matte under the wax weather coat that was the final step in their 2013 restoration. Whether in renewed bronze or aged green patina, she is ever Alma—part enduring tradition, part irresistible photo op and always Illinois. As Shakespeare once put it, “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety.”

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