Commencement ceremonies have been a part of institutional tradition since the earliest years of the University of Illinois, known as Illinois Industrial University until 1885. Though students received certificates of completion rather than degrees until 1878, the University still recognized students who successfully completed the courses required for their chosen program. Read More
Mason poses during a track meet. RS 41/20/230
In a 1937 News-Gazette article on the “past glory of Illinois track teams,” legendary Illini track coach Harry Gill named Arthur H. “Mike” Mason one of the best runners and fiercest competitors he ever witnessed. Gill recounted how Mason lost his shoe during a two mile race in 1915. Despite attempts to flag him down to prevent injury, Mason kept running and finished in the lead, setting a new Big Ten and Illinois record with a time of 9:42 2-3. After helping him to the locker room, Gill recalled how “a bloody sock was removed and the whole callous of his foot dropped off with it. That run was the greatest exhibition of courage I have ever witnessed.”  Mason bested this time on several occasions, and his records of 4:18 and 9:33 for one and two mile races stood until the 1920s.  Read More
In recognition of the upcoming 100th anniversary of the University of Illinois’ participation in an Arctic expedition, the University Archives has prepared an on-line exhibit featuring first-hand accounts of this ill-fated trip to find the “Crocker Lands”. The exhibit focuses on the observations of W. Elmer Ekblaw (class of 1910) who served as the expedition team’s geologist, and provides insights to survival in a brutal climate away from the rest of the world that was rushing into World War I.
Illustrated by Fridtjof Nansen.
An exhibit concerning student life during the Great Depression (1928-1938) was recently erected outside of the University Archives in the main hallway.
Fans leave treats from one of Ebert’s favorite restaurants, Steak ‘n’ Shake, near the plaque of his boyhood home in Urbana, Ill. April 2013
He was beloved and respected by millions, unless you happened to be one of the unfortunate filmmakers who earned a “thumbs down” from Roger Ebert during his long and illustrious career as a Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic. Ebert’s passing on April 4, 2013 has been mourned by friends and followers across the globe. Attendees of Ebert’s 15th Annual Film Festival, which begins this week and runs April 17-21 at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign, will certainly long for Ebert’s presence. Read More
In February, the University Archives acquired the papers of Thomas Clark Shedd, Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois from 1925 through 1958. Comprising correspondence, publications, photographs, a field notebook, and even a slide rule, Shedd’s papers document his research on railway and bridge design as well as his interest in teaching and the development of the structural engineering curriculum. This acquisition is important not only for shedding light on his career and research, but also for his influence on the Department of Civil Engineering (now Civil and Environmental Engineering), especially in terms of its instructional mission. Most notably, his papers include a great deal of correspondence with his colleague and long-time friend, Hardy Cross, Professor of Civil Engineering at the U of I from 1921 to 1937. Shedd’s papers thus complement the University Archives’ substantial collection of administrative records and personal papers relating to civil engineering, including Hardy Cross’ papers.
Just a few days ago, Erma Bridgewater, native and long-time resident of Champaign, Illinois, passed away at the age of 99.
Twenty Three Portraits, 2010-11
University Of Illinois YMCA & YWCA Building, Murphy Gallery
February 24th – April 1st, 2011
Image taken by Brent Faklis
According to the Nebraska State Historical Society, the history of modern greetings cards began in 1843 with the design of the first Christmas cards produced in England. Easter card exchanges began somewhat later in the 1880s.
The Student Life & Culture Archives was recently asked to create a small exhibit on the history of the Illini Union for the celebration of Founder’s Day on Wednesday, March 13th.
Dedication of the original building in 1941 completed a long planning process started early in the Twentieth Century. Interest in a specially built Union building began with the inauguration of President Arthur C. Willard, who appointed a committee to investigate building plans and construction. The decision to raze University Hall, built in 1871, to make room for the new building was unanimous. Read More
“Engineers, as all citizens, have a stake in the future,” Dean Daniel Drucker wrote in his welcome letter for the 1975 Engineering Open House. Echoing this sentiment a year later, he noted the global and societal importance of the work of the University of Illinois Engineering faculty, students, and alumni:
Photo of visitors at an Engineering Open House exhibit, ca. 1959. Found in Record Series 11/1/12.