I Proudly Present To You The Class Of…

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. Continue reading “I Proudly Present To You The Class Of…”

Arthur H. “Mike” Mason

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.” [1] 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. [2] Continue reading “Arthur H. “Mike” Mason”