History and Traditions

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was the product of a revolution in American life. The industrial revolution and rapid advances in science in the nineteenth century created the need for a new kind of university that would transcend the classics model to embrace professional and utilitarian education and meet the needs of society at large. In the intervening 150 years, additional revolutions in American life prompted by wars, prosperity, hard times, scientific discovery, and globalization have likewise continued to shape our University.

Through scholarship, exhibits, and public programming, the Illinois Alumni Association’s History and Traditions Programs foster greater appreciation for the rich heritage of the University and its contributions to society.

This web portal features articles and other historical resources created by the Illinois Alumni Association and our colleagues in the University Archives, the Office of Public Affairs, and other units at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Alma Mater

Perhaps the most recognizable symbol of the Urbana-Champaign campus is the iconic Alma Mater statue.

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Alma Mater

Perhaps the most recognizable symbol of the Urbana-Champaign campus is the iconic Alma Mater statue. Crafted by... Read More

Illio

First published in 1895 as a junior class project, the Illio yearbook has served as not only a keepsake item for... Read More

University of Illinois Sesquicentennial Celebration

Shaping the future since 1867