Alumni & Campus Stories

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Memory Lane: Let Us Commence

They were the sons of country doctors and farmers, merchants and mechanics, blacksmiths and railroad workers. Some would follow in their fathers’ footsteps, returning to the farm, to the machine shop, to the family...

Baptism by fire

The train from Champaign lumbered through the black Illinois night, just past the witching hour, en route to a city on fire. Nineteen-year-old Dillon Brown, Class of 1875, sat in his seat, smelling the...

Memory Lane: Field Day

It’s a Saturday in October, about 100 years ago. The trees are starting to change, there’s a chill in the air, and the stands at Illinois Field (1891–1986)—all wooden bleachers—are starting to fill, as...

Alethenai Class, 1871

Co-Education

In her later years, Frances Potter Reynolds, Class of 1874, recalled the day in 1870 when the Illinois Industrial University’s Board of Trustees voted to admit women as students. Unlike the 14 other “young...