Author Archives: Ellen Swain

The Story of Orange and Blue

  From its founding in 1867 until fall of 1894, the University of Illinois struggled to commit to school colors. Professor Winton Solberg writes in his history of the University: For years, uncertainty existed as to the University colors. Many different color combinations had gained recognition, with the Athletic Association making the selection. For a […]

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Rekindling Lost Love, Illinois-Style

Many of us are good story-tellers; archivists are “story-catchers.” This past week, the Student Life & Culture (SLC) Archives received seven photos from alumnus Paul Wieland ’52 of Paul and girlfriend Diane Rutter ’52 taken during their time at Illinois.  I asked Colonel Wieland to include a memory piece about his photos to provide context […]

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Students in Cars on Campus?: The Case of William O’Dell

July 16 marks the 80th anniversary of first installation of the parking meter (1935), brought to us by news reporter and inventor Carl C. Magee of Oklahoma City. (1) (Thanks Carl.) As someone who has paid many campus parking tickets over the years, I will not be marking the occasion; I’m sure I am not […]

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Springtime at Illinois: The 1927 Roller Skating Craze

In March 1927, UI students took campus by storm–  on their roller skates!  The roller skating fad was “unbelievable,” Merle Boren ’34 remembered.  He and his family moved to Champaign that month to operate a student boarding house on the corner of Springfield and Sixth streets.  “Every weekend there were various places on the campus […]

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SLC Archives Celebrates 25 Years

Twenty-five years ago, the Stewart S. Howe Foundation provided a million dollar endowment to establish the Student Life and Culture Archival Program at the University Archives. That gift was the culmination of years of discussion and negotiation between alumnus Stewart Howe ’28 and University Archivist Maynard Brichford. Together they developed a vision for the Student […]

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