Several major projects will commemorate the University's Sesquicentennial.
Book - Illinois History Project
- The History Department is currently working on a literary coffee style book to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the creation of the University of Illinois, to be published in March 2017. The volume will consist of short historical essays in addition to richly illustrated photographs from the University Archives. The primary focus will be on a selection of the “historical markers” of important university events that dot the campus. Essays will include a representative set of events that reflect change over time, disciplinary diversity and cultural and political conflict as well as celebration. The volume will also include a timeline, list of university chancellors and presidents.
Book - History of Athletics-DIA
- The University of Illinois Press, in conjunction with the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, is publishing the third installment of
Illini Legends, Lists and Lore, a book that chronicles the history of Fighting Illini varsity athletics on a year-by-year basis since its recognized beginnings in 1895. Mike Pearson, former Sports Information Director at Illinois, produced the first edition in 1995 and the second edition in 2002. Pearson is now working on the third edition which will update all of the records and historical information as well has summarizing the most recent 15 years of Illinois athletics since the last edition was produced. The anticipated completion date will be in the fall of 2017.
Planners and presidents, architects and landscape designers, trustees and bureaucrats have contributed to developing the Urbana-Champaign campus from a single second-hand building on University Avenue to an expansive four-quad center of learning. A large-format book about campus growth and development, "An Illini Place" is written by Lex Tate and John Franch. It answers the question: Why does this campus look the way it does? It also charts the neighborhood: Campustown, student housing, and religious foundations, and gives a nod to gift buildings and iconic places and spaces, some gone, none forgotten. University Press, 2017.
- The University plans to break ground on a design building at some point during 2017. The building will focus on how we educate students in the 21st century and will concentrate on collaboration of students from all majors and disciplines. Located on the west end of Military Axis south of Huff Hall, it will be a place for students to meet and explore various passions and ideas in a collaborative space. Students will have significant influence on the programming and design of the building.
- The History & Traditions Committee of the UI Alumni Association Board of Directors proposed enhancing the Alice Campbell Alumni Center to include a campus welcome center for alumni and other visitors to campus. The entire first floor of the Welcome center will be a hub of campus interactive exhibits and maps in order to help people feel welcomed to the campus and to help facilitate their next stop while on campus. The Welcome Center will be a first destination for incoming students, parents and faculty.
- The Distributed Museum will be an online resource that ties objects, locales, markers, exhibits, documents, and information currently dispersed across time and space together into one virtual location at distributedmuseum.illinois.edu. The Distributed Museum will help to tell University of Illinois stories in ways that will highlight the historical and ongoing impacts and synergies that university research, teaching and public service have produced at home and abroad. The online resource will engage various publics and inspire them to learn, participate, and contribute to the university’s mission.
- The Sesquicentennial exhibit will be held in the Campbell Gallery of the Spurlock Museum, a 1200-square-foot venue, with additional components appearing in parts of the permanent galleries, where some University of Illinois stories can be told.
The primary goal of the exhibit is to tell the story of the key moments in the university’s early history and the cultural context that allowed it to develop from a mid-level state university to a premiere research institution. The focus will be on three periods: (1) the founding of the University and John Milton Gregory’s administration; (2) the Edmund James era; and (3) the post-WWII revival of the University under George Stoddard. The exhibit will conclude by showing how the trajectory set by the early development of the University through 1953 led directly to our status today and our plans for tomorrow.