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  • a fossilized insect from the collection donated by Paul Kirkland

    A Donation for the Ages

    Reserachers are far from cataloguing everything in the collection, but they've already discovered a new species - a longhorn beetle they will name after the donor, amateur paleontologist Paul Kirkland

  • Roger Ebert's signature at the bottom of a typed letter

    A Lifetime in Letters: Ebert's correspondence with his Illinois mentor

    Once Roger Ebert graduated from Illinois, the letters began to flow. His correspondence with his mentor, Professor Dan Curley, chronicle inside jokes, career frustrations, and the shared sensibilities of two writers.

  • Alumna Ann Thayer Weldy helped readers find comfort—and themselves—in her books

    To the world, she became Ann Bannon, the name under which she published six lesbian pulp fiction novels. Over sixty years later, these books remain fundamental to the LGBTQ canon. 

  • the skyscrapers formerly known as Sears Tower and the John Hancock building

    Alumnus Fazlur Khan: Raising the Skyline

    Fazlur Khan revolutionized city skylines with his innovative engineering—starting in Chicago. To this day, most skyscrapers built after the 1960s employ Fazlur’s structural techniques

  • Alumnus making a difference with Obama Foundation

    As chief of civic engagement for the Obama Foundation, Michael has returned to the city he loves, to do the work that he loves.

  • Alumnus Mort Nathan

    Mort Nathan (MEDIA '75), executive writer and producer of The Golden Girls, was kind enough to answer a fangirl's questions about the iconic show.

  • illustration by Nate Azark includes iconic Chicago locations

    Alumnus Nate Azark: Drawn to the City

    Nate Azark owns of 12 Line Studio, which does design work for national brands and local startups. His distinctive style has also been featured on concert posters and album covers

  • Heather Dowdy, the first director of product accessibility at Netflix.

    At Netflix, alumna Heather Dowdy is connecting the dots across race, disability, tech, and faith

    'I remember praying to God that if he got me through the grueling electrical engineering program, I would dedicate my career to serving people with disabilities, people who look like my parents.'

  • Rosalyn Yalow

    Bold: Honoring the legacy of Nobel laureate Rosalyn Yalow

    In September, 1941, Bronx-native Rosalyn Yalow arrived at the U of I to embark on her PhD in nuclear physics and a teaching assistantship. She was the only woman among 400 male faculty and teaching assistants in the college of engineering. 

  • children's drawings displayed at the Illinois Coal Museum

    Built on coal: The past, present, and future of Illinois' coal towns

    Coal communities throughout the state are grappling with a shrinking industry, and University of Illinois Extension is working with these areas to help them plan, imagine, even embrace a post-coal future.

  • Dennis Craig sits at the ornately carved granite bench north of the Architecture Building.

    Campus Historic Preservation Officer Dennis Craig answers the Proust Questionnaire

    'We have a lot of interesting architecture with interesting stories,' Craig says. 'I think my favorite part is the digging and looking for things to continue to tell the story of the campus.'

  • Chicago's Superdawg family is an Illini family

    Steffie Drucker, granddaughter of Superdawg's founders, reflects on the family legacy.

  • Shozo Sato at his home in Champaign. Photo by Abby Bobrow

    Child of War, Man of Peace: Shozo Sato, founder of Japan House, always paints with a purpose

    Like a tide at the mercy of the moon, a sense of urgency weighs on Sato to share the horrors of World War II. 'Not too many people remember anymore, or they aren’t alive. I should leave this memory for the next generation.'

  • Jessica Steinrock served as the intimacy director in a production 'Firefly Love', produced by Something Marvelous and directed by Rinska Carrasco-Prestinary. Víctor Maraña and Steph Vonedll are pictured kissing.

    Choreographing an illusion of intimacy, passion on stage

    Jessica Steinrock and Zev Steinrock help actors on stage and screen perform authentically, safely, and with consent.

  • Coleman Hawkins walks on the Quad. He is pursuing a degree in Recreation, Sport & Tourism.

    Coleman Hawkins: Family Man

    For Coleman Hawkins, Fighting Illini power forward, family is at the heart of everything. To really know him, you have to know his family.

  • historic photo of people walking beside the Ferris Wheel at the 1893 Columbian Exposition. Photo courtesy of the U of I Archives

    Curiosities from our collections: 1893 Chicago World's Fair

    According to Winton Solberg, a renowned historian of the university, it took our faculty two and a half years to prepare our exhibit, 'which consisted of nine freight carloads...and occupied eight thousand square feet in the Illinois State Building.' 

  • Top of box for the game Operation

    Curiosities: Fun and Games

    Did you know that the game Operation started as a class project for a sophomore at U of I? John Spinello promptly sold it to a company for $500 and the promise of a job after he graduated. He got the money, but the job never happened.

  • dramatic green colors of a moth sitting on a fern

    Curious Encounters with the Natural World

    'We are not photographic trophy hunters, seeking to make each and every image that perfect portrait, but biologists who seek to capture the little windows of time that show nature as it is.'

  • graphic - Delivering the vote: how the civil war shaped mail-in voting today

    Delivering the vote

    How the Civil War shaped mail-in voting today: It was complicated then, and it's complicated now.

  • Grainger College of Engineering PhD student Edgar Mejia

    Envisioning a global economy built on 'upcycling' plastics

    'My long-term goal in life is to help establish a global circular economy by developing plastics that are purposely created to be chemically recycled after their initial use is over,' says Illinois engineering student Edgar Mejia.

  • a look back at the ship from the Alvin capsule

    Expedition Oasis: The bottom of the sea

    Volcanologist and geology professor Patricia Gregg takes us with her on the deep ocean sub, Alvin, to investigate a volcanic ridge on the bottom of the sea floor.

  • two young men look at pepper plants in an urban, raised-bed garden plot

    Farming in the Windy City

    From rooftops to abandoned lots, urban gardening in Chicago is thriving.

  • A wayward mirror catches University of Illinois photographer Fred Zwicky at work covering student move-in. Photo by Fred, of course.

    Flipping the Focus: Campus photographer Fred Zwicky

    A photographer’s magical power is to freeze time. 'As life passes us by in a blur, I think the still image gives us just enough time to process that individual moment in isolation. An effective photograph coalesces how that scene makes us feel...'

  • Mateo Sebastian, the Q’anjob’al-language engagement liaison

    Found in Translation

    How the University of Illinois and the local Q’anjob’al-speaking Mayan community are discovering ways to communicate.

  • sepia-toned image of a decades-younger Gene Robinson wearing full beekeeping regalia

    Gene and the honey bee

    Gene Robinson, who now directs the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, got his start with the honey bee well before 'genomics' existed as a field.

  • Stretch hands Wendy Rogers, Shahid and Ann Carlson Khan Professor of Applied Health Sciences, a pill bottle in the living room of the McKechnie Family LIFE Home.

    Home is where the robot is

    'I see what it does to my husband mentally when he can do things by himself and not depend on anyone,' Jane Evans told researchers. 'This is huge, because it translates to one’s mental state. [Over the years, robots] gave him a reason to live.'

  • player piano music roll for 'Pennies From Heaven' by Irviing Berlin

    Illinois Curiosities: Audio

    Illinois' curiosities are displayed in museums and glass cabinets, tucked safely in boxes and drawers This audio edition of curiosities explores not only what we can see but also what we can hear.

  • Innovation accelerated

    How Grainger engineers—and medical professionals, manufacturing experts, animal scientists, and designers from around Champaign-Urbana—brought a COVID-stricken world an emergency ventilator in less than two weeks.

  • atmospheric scientists pose with their 'Doppler on Wheels' truck

    Inside Nature's Fury

    They had reached the eye of the storm. Above them, the sky was open and blue and clear and quiet. Around them, the angry clouds formed angled walls... Below them, the waves of the ocean grew to huge swells - a frenzy of whitecaps and sea spray.

  • Illini Service Dogs volunteer wearing "respect the vest" t-shirt carries a puppy

    In Training: Illini Service Dogs

    Founded by Bridget Evans (AHS '13), Illini Service Dogs is one of campus' most beloved student groups.

  • Land of Wonderous Cold

    In his newest book of environmental history, English professor Gillen D’Arcy Wood explores the race to Antarctica, the continent’s influence on climate change, and. . . Alice in Wonderland.

  • students

    Lessons in leisure

    Every spring, a class of Illini embark on a tour filled with more than twenty excursions in less than two weeks’ time.

  • Marching Illini Director Barry Houser stands atop the tower-podium from which her directs the band at Memorial Stadium

    Marching Illini Director Barry Houser: The Attitude of Gratitude

    Barry L. Houser, director of the Marching Illini, answers the Proust Questionnaire.

  • Marty Burke answers the Proust Questionnaire

    Illinois professor Marty Burke answers the Proust Questionnaire

  • Max Levchin. Photo courtesy of Affirm

    Maxium Impact

    Illinois alumnus Max Levchin on lessons from his grandmother, late nights at DCL, and building businesses with integrity

  • Water tower at Philo, Illinois, declares it 'the center of the universe'

    Mosaic and margaritas at the Center of the Universe

    Colleen Bushell remembers when she, Marc Andreessen, and Eric Bina began to grasp the enormity of their creation of Mosaic (world's first graphical web browser) while sipping on a cocktail in Philo, Illinois.

  • Title slide graphic. Line drawings of campustown scenes

    New from Storied!

    Green Street: Visualizing 100 years as "the heart of campustown"

  • Zach Sharpe stands beside a 'Beatlemania'-themed pinball machine

    Pinball Wizard

    Gies Business alum Zach Sharpe is one of pinball’s most celebrated players. He now lends his expertise to one of the world’s largest pinball manufacturers in the world, Chicago-based Stern Pinball.

  • Cynthia Oliver, Professor of Dance and Special Advisor to the Chancellor for Arts Integration at Illinois. Photo by Fred Zwicky

    Professor Cynthia Oliver: The dance is enough

    'We danced in the woods, on the beach, in the mountains,' Oliver recalls of her childhood. 'We danced everywhere.' Oliver answers the Proust Questionnaire for Storied.

  • a plate of apple pandowdy in Bevier Cafe

    Recreating Apple Pandowdy

    We dusted off an old recipe found in the university library and asked the Bevier Café to bring it back to life.

  • Professor Leon Dash sits in his office

    Reporting with an anthropologist's eye

    Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism professor Leon Dash talks about what inspired his life's work and answers the Proust Questionnaire.

  • Fudog sculptures at the U of I's Allerton Park

    Robert Allerton: A beautiful legacy

    Philanthropist Robert Allerton traveled the world, immersing himself in the art of different cultures. His generous spirit enriched Chicago’s Art Institute as well as Illinois’ Allerton Park & Retreat Center.

  • Humboldt penguin

    Saving the penguins of Peru

    By combining fieldwork in Peru with their expertise caring for Humboldt penguins at the Brookfield Zoo, two Illinois grads are among those hoping to turn the tide for these endangered animals.

  • Illustration of youth and teacher in guarded classroom. Illustration by Katie Miller

    Science on the inside

    How neuroscience graduate students are bringing science education to youth behind bars.

  • Professor Nadya Mason laughing. Photo by Andrew Bird

    Sharing the beauty and wonder of physics

    Her work in experimental physics may sound out of reach for many of us, but it is exactly that notion that Nadya Mason works hard to dispel.


    On the hundredth anniversary of this difficult autumn, we look back at a campus that prepared soldiers for war, tended to the sick, and came together in a spirit of selflessness and compassion that was the hallmark of some of our earliest Illini.

  • Jill Nicklas (EDU’18) and Breanna Wonderly (GIES’17) volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House during the 2016 Illini softball season.

    The Illini softball team's community service goes on the road

    The Softball team had done plenty of service at home in C-U, but not right before a game. Would volunteering instead of practicing affect their performance on the road? The first time they tried it, they run-ruled Nebraska.

  • Claudia Cassidy publicity photo

    The power of her pen: Chicago Tribune theater critic Claudia Cassidy

    She was called a queen. She was called a viper. Whichever side you were on, Claudia Cassidy's power in Chicago was indisputable.

  • graphic shows three iconic images from Citizen Kane, Star Wars, and Hoop Dreams.

    The U of I connections to three legendary films

    We examine Illinois' connections to three films regarded by many to be landmark contributions not only to their genre, but to the entire filmmaking canon: Citizen Kane, Star Wars, and Hoop Dreams.

  • Three hidden spots on campus where glass takes center stage

    Windows in the Library's Reading Room represent printers whose early forays into book publishing helped expand the reach of knowledge. Our Rare Book Library holds copies of early works printed by each printers’ mark represented.