Feb 4
Brianna Gregg, ACES Coordinator of Transfer Recruitment

“Why did you choose Illinois?” That is a question asked to many of our students and alumni and as I sit at my desk, counting down the hours until the new incoming freshman class decisions are released (less than 24 hours friends!!), I ponder the same. Why did I choose Illinois for my educational (and now professional career). And to that I say, tradition! But not in the ‘my parents took me to all the Illini games growing up’ or ‘I bleed orange and blue’ sense of tradition- more in the sense of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ tradition.

My mom, brother and aunts came to Illinois, my grandpa Lee Gray attended Illinois in the 1941, my great grandma, Fannie Lee, graduated from Illinois, and finally my great-great grandfather, Elisha Lee, graduated from Illinois- hence Tevye’s definition of TRADITION! (You’ll be singing that all afternoon- sorry!) They all choose Illinois for its tradition in excellence.

Though none of my family is currently attending Illinois or live in the immediate area, I still have a sense of belonging because they were here before me. Never was Illinois forced on me to choose, but there was a great sense of pride when I finally received that ‘admit’ decision. I now belong and contribute to my family’s Illinois tradition. Of course there is MUCH more than tradition offered at Illinois, but if you are one of the first in your families to go onto college or to consider choosing Illinois, we hope you start that tradition with us.

So to those of you waiting for your decision on Friday (4:00, online!), I wish you all the best! I hope you too will join in the Illinois Tradition!

My grandpa Gray’s student ID card from 1941.