Alumni & Campus Stories

West Point of the West

Outfitted in West Point-style dress grays and a blue scoop-shaped cap, Illinois freshman Clarence Shamel stood painfully at attention alongside dozens of other fledgling cadets. It wasn’t easy. “We had our first drill today in...

Cancelled

Under a gray and drizzling October sky in 1918, freshman Fred H. Turner stood at the locked iron gates of Illinois Field, then located north of the Engineering Quad. He watched from afar as...

Encore!

A half-century ago, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts opened as a facility of unprecedented scale and design for any educational institution anywhere. In the coming two seasons, the U of I’s remarkable...

Small Wonders

The stones vault overhead to form a basalt arch, named for President Theodore Roosevelt, who laid the cornerstone in 1903. Soon the road starts to climb, switchbacking up and up, between the Gardner River...

Saving Pretzel

On the day we meet Pretzel, the weather is chilly and clear in Hammond, Ind., where she lives with her owners, Donna and Dave Gescheidler. Their living room décor anticipates Christmas, less than two...

Time Traveler 

Who says dead men tell no tales? Consider Shuká Káa, a young man who met his demise more than 10,000 years ago while hunting a bear. Thanks to anthropologists and geneticists, Shuká Káa has...

Big Beats

On Oct. 31, 1925, a cold damp day, an underachieving Fighting Illini football team was in Philadelphia, facing the powerful Quakers of the University of Pennsylvania. Illinois’ record was a desultory 1 and 2,...

Lady in Waiting

Early on the morning of Aug. 7, 2012, after many long seasons of corrosive Midwestern weather and a short summer of delay, an hour like no other came to the University of Illinois. Alma...