Alumni & Campus Stories

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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...

Katharine L. Sharp

Ingenious: The best

When organizers of the Armour Institute in Chicago were seeking “the best man” to head their new library in 1893, they sought the advice of librarian Melvil Dewey, who created the Dewey Decimal Classification...