Share your Illinois story

Share your Illinois story

Aug 17
Marla Todd, Associate Director of Advancement Communications

The streets, sidewalks and hallways on campus are starting to become a bit busier this week. With classes starting Monday, I can’t help but reminisce about my freshman move-in day, the jam-packed Quad-day or feeling like a herd of something on our way to freshman convocation. I’m more than a little tempted to dig through old photos, unearth some Illini mementos and pretend it wasn’t that long ago when I was an excited, nervous freshman in the College of ACES.

Now is actually a great time for all Illini to dig in to their memory books and share their favorite stories from time on campus. As part of the UI sesquicentennial (that’s 150 years) celebration in 2017, the University of Illinois Alumni Association plans to open a new Welcome Center. The Center will feature interactive exhibits that will present the history of the University from the perspectives of its students and alumni.  It will serve as a destination for returning alumni and the University and local communities, as well as a gateway for campus visitors, including prospective students and their parents. 

At this stage of the project, the UI Alumni Association is collecting materials for the exhibits. Yes, we have amazing University archives and many campus units have preserved much of their own history. However, they also want our alumni and students to share their personal stories. They are particularly interested in photographs that alumni took in college and objects used as students—anything that would be emblematic of what it has meant to be a student at the University, and that would cause a moment of recognition, reminiscence, or nostalgia for others. They hope to capture how the student experience has changed during the University’s first 150 years and how, in some ways, it has stayed the same.  They are also looking for scans of diplomas for inclusion in a giant mobile that will be the centerpiece of the Welcome Center.

Those interested in providing materials for the Welcome Center or learning more about the project are asked to contact the College of ACES at 217-333-9355 or

UIAA Welcome Center

UIAA Welcome Center 2nd Floor