“My favorite landmark—without a doubt—is the Alma Mater. Every time I return to campus, I walk past that statue. I still get chills.”
The rich history of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign awaits every new student, visitor, and returning alumnus through campus landmarks that tell the Illinois story. It comes as no surprise that some of the fondest memories and stories that alumni have about Illinois involve their favorite campus landmarks.
Distinguished alumna Andrea Darlas, journalist and morning anchor at Chicago's legendary WGN radio, shares some of her favorites:
"I may be biased, but I believe the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is one of the most beautiful college campuses anywhere in the country. I've had the opportunity to visit quite a number of college campuses throughout the United States, and not one is prettier than ours, especially during the fall months.
"My favorite landmark, without a doubt, is the Alma Mater. I remember the week before I graduated, my friends and I all took photos in front of the statute wearing our caps and gowns. On Graduation Day, our entire family took photos in front of the statute. I still have that photo framed in my home.
"Every time I return to campus, I walk past that statue. I still get chills.
"My second favorite landmark is Foellinger Auditorium, mainly because that is where I graduated (College of Media, '94). I had quite a few lectures in the Auditorium and always liked sitting toward the top, in the balcony section, so I could overlook the structure and grasp its full beauty. Also, from the steps outside of Foellinger you can see out over the entire Quad area.
"I'm also fond of Gregory Hall, mainly because I spent so many days and nights there as a student. And, I guess I can't forget the Morrow Plots. They were always really cool to me as a student. It's cool to think that this research project has been going on since 1876."
For additional information and images, see our Campus Landmarks page.