“In the first week of September in 1952, my mother woke me up at 6 a.m. and said we were going to Champaign. I asked her why. She said, ‘You are going to college.’”
—Raymond Dieter, Jr., (BS ’94, chemistry) describes the lifelong impact of a sudden decision to go to college.
“My most enjoyable time was in Concert Choir from 1959 to 1963, under the direction of Dr. Harold Decker. This was virtually the only place I had a chance to meet females, during two years in engineering physics and one and a half years in mathematics....”
—Kenneth L. Modesitt (BS ’63, mathematics) shares a vivid collection of his campus memories.
“Since so many of us...had come up from training in the South to the U of I, I worked up a little routine whereby I would stand on a chair, etc., and proudly proclaim: ‘My name is Calhoun, and I’m from the South—South Carolina, that is, and there’s three places on this campus I never goes: The North Reserve in the Library, the Union Building and above all, Lincoln Hall.’”
—Lincoln scholar Wayne C. Temple (AB ’49, general curriculum; ’51 MA and ’56 PhD, history) describes life as part of the Army Specialized Training Program on campus during WWII.
“On occasion, one of my duties was to show visiting dignitaries around the campus.”
—Lois Fullerton Meier (BS ’42, education) shares her duties as the Illini Union social director’s student secretary and as the Pershing Rifles sponsor.
“Nothing was more special than football Saturdays when my friends and I would don our Pendleton pleated skirts, coordinated sweaters, and bobby socks and saddle shoes for the hike from Allen Hall to Memorial Stadium.”
—Janice Gangwer LaDuke (BS ’61, elementary education) remembers when her love of U of I and football began.
“After a while, he again saw the possum peering at him around the corner of the stove. Grabbing up his gun, he fired at the intruder, missing the possum but hitting the unoffending stove. Hence the hole.”
—Paul T. Bryant (PhD ’65, English) recalls when he found evidence of wildlife sharing his home, and the lengths he took to keep them out, while living in Stadium Terrace.
“My main U of I memory was about all the bike trails/routes around campus. I brought my trusty Sears Free Spirit 10-speed down for sophomore year. Most amazing was the hundreds and hundreds of cyclists.”
—Mike McAuley (BS ’86, business administration) recalls when he made an epic bike ride to Champaign-Urbana to revisit his old college stomping grounds.
“We loved Noble Dorm; there were no real fights. Someone dashed off a poem and inscribed it on a lampshade; it ended with, ‘when we get to Heaven, the angels sure will yell, ‘Welcome men of Noble Dorm, you’ve served your term in Hell!’”
—John Heinz (AB ’57, anthropology) describes Noble Dorm, a campus revolution in courtship, and “the girl with the golden arm.”
“About half of the students were American and half were foreign representing six inhabited continents. Aunt Alta was a mother away from home for her student residents.”
—Arthur Dale (BS ’61, science and letters) remembers the lasting friendships made at Alta Dewhirst’s rooming house, and other moments such as when presidential candidate John F. Kennedy spoke on the Quad.
“On a very cold December day, Connie and I stood shivering on the platform of the railroad station in Champaign and waved ‘goodbye’ to George as he left. It was a huge disappointment for him to have to leave just then as he was scheduled to defend his dissertation in January.”
—Dee Lobdell (AB ’53, general curriculum) writes a story of a family determined to realize its dream of a good education despite interruptions along the way.
The views expressed in Storyography are not necessarily those of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or the University of Illinois.