The Big Picture: Hallene Gateway

Hallene Gateway (Image by L. Brian Stauffer/UI Public Affairs)

The Hallene Gateway didn’t always greet visitors at the east entrance of campus. The sandstone portal bearing Illinois’ motto originally was part of New Main University Hall, the school’s fourth building, erected in 1871 on the current site of Illini Union. When New Main Hall was razed in 1938, its portal was saved and stored first behind the architecture building and later at Robert Allerton Park. In 1994, the gateway was rediscovered and restored, thanks to funding from Alan M. Hallene, ’51 ENG, and Phyllis Welsh Hallene, ’51 LAS, then relocated to Lincoln Avenue and Illinois Street. It is now part of Hallene Gateway Plaza—a popular backdrop for student photos, especially during commencement weekend.