The History That Remains…- Kaitlin Udelhofen

Photo by Kaitlin Udelhofen

For over a century, University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign has been feeding the minds of college students and helping further their careers. There are many memories that remain on the campus. One of those memories is over one hundred years old! This year marks 150 years for one of the biggest Universities in Illinois…which means there’s been a lot of years to evolve from just one small building. A professor also noted that the university started agriculturally based. Listen   

 

Starting off from 50 all male students in the very first semester to nearly 41,000 students of diverse backgrounds in 2017. Some memorable inventions that originated on campus include LED lights, Mosaic search engine, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The technology created on campus has impacted people around the world and has helped further technology. 

Photo by Kaitlin Udelhofen

Photo by Kaitlin Udelhofen

The Lincoln Scholarship Photo by Kaitlin Udelhofen

Throughout the campus you can view different historical statues and plaques that depict history of the campus.

These two statues are fragments from the vast unfinished “Fountain of Creation” by Lorado Taft.  Both are of the son of Duecalion, the son of the greek God Prometheus. One depicts him with his knees between his arms and his head into his chest while the other depicts him with one arm under the other, sitting on his knees.

A large piece of the university’s history is a bronze statue called Alma Mater created by Lorado Taft. It is located at the main part of the campus near Green Street. The statue is of one woman in a robe along with two women who represent “learning” and “labor”. Her arms are outstretched to welcome the students and faculty. The granite base has three inscriptions one reading, “Alma Mater/To Thy Children/of the future/those of the past/send greetings”. The statue was created to be able to be climbed and sat on, which has became a tradition among students. During special occasions the statue may be dressed up, in 2005 she could be seen wearing an Illini jersey during the Final Four.

A diverse amount of old and new art pieces creates a timeline for the university. The university’s art museum, Krannert Art museum has exhibits of new and old art. By walking through the front doors, you can take a trip throughout time. There are exhibits from the Great Depression to A Forensic History Of Art.

McFarland Carillon bell tower Photo by Kaitlin Udelhofen

Many old buildings still remain in use and show their age. The architecture of the buildings is unique. One of the oldest buildings, Atgeld Hall is one of the best examples of Dichardsonian Romanesilque architure in Illinois.  It was built in 1897 and has been used by multiple departments. The central room is decorated by an artist Newton H. Another old building is The Armory, which was used to dorm more than 2,000 World War I soldiers. It was constructed in 1914 and the long span structure was unique at the time of creation. Around the same time frame, Harker Hall was constructed. It was named for the third dean of the school. In 1896 it was even struck by lightning.

One building was built specially for a memorial, Memorial Stadium. The stadium was created in 1924 to remember the famous game against Michigan State. It’s unique architecture makes it one of the most recognizable in the nation.

Aerial view Photo from University of Illinois Archives

University of Illinois has had many centuries of life yet history still shows itself in many parts of the campus. 150 years later students can still visit some of the first buildings that were ever built and can view statues that are from years earlier. The university has many memories hidden in its walls … and it only takes a small amount of walking to see a little piece of its history.

 

 

 

Reflection

This experience helped me decide if Journalism is an option for a future career. I thought that it would be a good idea to take this course to finalize my decision to go further into it. I really liked the topic I chose because it helped me learn more about U of I. The most interesting thing I learned was about the Armory and how World War I soldiers were there. The scariest part was doing the interviewing because I had never interviewed strangers before. Prior to this I had only interviewed people from my school who I knew well. I was nervous when going up to the people but during the interview I was calm. The interview was very helpful. Taking the pictures was really fun because I got to see more of the campus and got to learn about the statues. I am also considering going to U of I when I graduate high school in 2019. My dream would be to work for the Alternative Press magazine after college and study abroad in South America at least once while I am young. I am thinking of majoring in Journalism and minoring in Spanish. My other option is International Relations.

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