Jonathan Baldwin Turner, Professor at Illinois College in Jacksonville, first proposed “A Plan for a State University for the Industrial Classes” at a meeting of the Illinois Teachers Institute on May 13, 1850, at Griggsville, Illinois. He proposed not only the foundation of a state university for the agricultural and industrial classes in Illinois, but a system in all the states of the union.
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At Jonathan Baldwin Turner’s urging, the farmers’ convention in Granville, Illinois on November 18, 1851, passed a resolution to the Illinois General Assembly for the creation of a state university. A second farmers’ convention in Springfield on June 8, 1852, sent a resolution to the Illinois legislature calling for “an appropriation of public lands for each State in the Union for the appropriate endowment of universities for the liberal education of the industrial classes in their several pursuits in each State of the Union.”
The State Industrial Universities Plan was chartered by the Illinois General Assembly on February 8, 1853, petitioning Congress for the establishment of national land-grants to create a system of state universities. On November 24, 1853, the Industrial League of the State of Illinois was chartered to promote the interests of the industrial classes, most notably the plan for an industrial university. The resolution of the Illinois General Assembly was introduced in the U.S. Congress on March 20, 1854, to create a system of land grant universities to cooperate with each other and with the Smithsonian Institution at Washington.
A new member of the House of Representatives from one of the more populous eastern states, Justin Smith Morrill of Vermont, was entrusted by Jonathan Baldwin Turner of Illinois and other leading advocates to sponsor a bill in the U.S. Congress to establish a system of state land-grant universities, which was first introduced on December 14, 1857.
An Industrial University Convention, called by the State Agricultural Society, was held in Bloomington on December 4, 1865, proposing to the Illinois General Assembly that a single university should be established in Illinois in accordance with the Morrill Act and first proposed a location in Champaign County.
A bill passed the Illinois General Assembly on February 25, 1867, authorizing the creation of an Illinois Industrial University. On February 28, 1867, Governor Richard J. Oglesby signed the Griggs Bill into effect, granting the Illinois Industrial University its charter. After an official commission received bids from four counties, the communities of Champaign and Urbana in Champaign County were chosen by an act of the Illinois General Assembly on March 8, 1867. The decision alienated some of the original supporters of the movement, including Professor Turner. On Tuesday, March 12, 1867, the Board of Trustees of the Illinois Industrial University met for the first time, electing John Milton Gregory as the first Regent of the University. Gregory developed plans that included departments of Agriculture, Polytechnic, Military, Chemical and Natural Sciences, General Sciences and Literature, and Trade and Commerce.
The Illinois Industrial University opened its doors on March 2, 1868, with three faculty members. The first student, James Newton Matthews of Mason, Illinois, enrolled in agriculture, later earning a medical degree and practicing medicine.On March 11, 1868, Willard Flagg Bliss was named the first professor of agriculture.
A model farm house was constructed on the campus experiment station and came to be known as Mumford House. Professor Thomas J. Burrill was the first resident, and the house was later occupied by three deans of agriculture, George E. Morrow, Eugene Davenport, and Herbert W. Mumford. It is the oldest remaining structure on the University of Illinois campus and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Thomas J. Burrill was an early professor of botany and applied plant sciences during the nascent stages of development for these disciplines in North America. Burrill was known nationally and abroad for his work in botany and applied plant sciences including tree cultivation and management. His original research was on the bacterial causes for plant and fruit disease, and it led to the development of preventative treatment methods, the first major conceptual advance by an American in the developing field of plant pathology. Burrill served as University of Illinois President from 1891 to 1894.
In 1871 pioneering research on the culture and use of trees in Illinois for economic benefit was instituted with the establishment of an experimental plantation (formerly The forestry, with remaining portion now called the Illini Grove) that predates the more famous Morrow Plots, the first agricultural experimental fields in North America. Also in 1871 the earliest forestry course to be offered in the United States was initiated by Thomas Jay Burrill, a pioneer in the developing field of plant pathology.
At a convention in Chicago of 12 state colleges called the Friends of Agricultural Education, W.C. Flagg proposed the founding of agricultural experiment stations as adjuncts to the state land-grant universities. Mr. Flagg was a prominent agricultural and political leader and a trustee of the Illinois Industrial University from its founding until his death in 1878.
Nathan Clifford Ricker claimed to have received a great practical training by apprenticing for a Chicago architect shortly after the Great Fire. In 1872, he brought practical knowledge to the UI where he taught perhaps the first course in the nation in graphic statistics. Ricker was a pioneer in advanced structural design. His work contributed to the rise of the steel- skeleton skyscrapers that changed the face of the American city.
University Fine Arts Gallery (the predecessor to Krannert Art Museum), housed in University Hall on the Champaign-Urbana campus of the University of Illinois, opens to the public to present the art collections of the university formed by John Milton Gregory, who served as its first regent from 1867 to 1880.
The first sixteen master’s degrees were awarded in 1878. These earliest master’s degrees were awarded to people who took additional undergrad-level courses beyond the requirements for the undergrad degree. These degrees were often awarded to faculty. There was an ongoing debate throughout the late 19th century about what constituted graduate work. Two different systems emerged. The first, residential graduate students, required one year of advanced study and submission of a thesis. The second required a period of professional activity – typically 3 years.
In 1892, the Graduate School was established to ensure the high quality of graduate degree programs and to provide fellowship support for enterprising students who sought advanced degrees. To do this, the Graduate School was charged with overseeing degree requirements for advanced study and providing administrative structure. The first fellowships for graduate study included an annual stipend of $400. Four fellowships were awarded in 1892. These were awarded to Alice May Barber, Herman S. Piatt, Howard W. Woodworth, Mrs. Lucile Hall Parr. The Graduate School was formally inaugurated in 1907. Forty years later, the name was changed to the Graduate College. Today the Graduate College has oversight for 156 master’s programs and 91 doctoral programs in a wide range of disciplines.
The forerunner of the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA), the University of Illinois Athletic Association, was chartered in 1892 as a not-for-profit corporation of the State of Illinois. It was charged with overseeing and conducting the University's intercollegiate athletics programs and associated support services, and operated as as separate entity.
The library science program at the ArmourInstitute of Technology in Chicago was founded in 1893. From 1893 to 1907, Katharine Lucinda Sharp served as university librarian and founding director of the Department of Library Science, as recommended by MelvilDewey, American librarian, educator, and inventor of the Dewey Decimal system of library classification. In 1897, the Department of Library Science was moved to Urbana and renamed the Illinois State Library School.
Psychology at Illinois has had a long and distinguished history. The first record of a professor of psychology on campus is 1890. There was no separate Psychology Department at that time, but Dr. Charles De Garmo taught educational psychology and mental science under the Department of Philosophy and Pedagogy. A Psychological Laboratory was first established on campus in 1892 by Professor William O. Krohn. The following year the Psychology Department was established as a separate department from Philosophy with Professor Krohn in charge.
Eugene Davenport succeeded George Morrow as the dean of the College of Agriculture on January 1, 1895. The Illinois Farmers’ Institute was created by an act of the General Assembly on June 24, 1895, to promote among the people and before the legislature the interests of farmers and of the College of Agriculture.
The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) was founded as a part of the University of Illinois Chemistry Department in 1895 to survey the waters of Illinois to trace the spread of water-borne diseases. Chemical analyses of water samples were performed by Professor Arthur W. Palmer. Realizing the importance of clean drinking water, Palmer set initial survey goals of determining sanitary conditions of the state's water supplies and setting local standards of purity. He then recommended that the scope of the work be expanded, and the Illinois General Assembly provided funding to establish the State Water Survey as an institution.
Dean Eugene Davenport mobilized the state’s agricultural interests to put the College of Agriculture on firm footing with a $150,000 appropriation for a building. The Funk Bill, promising more funding and an appropriation for the agricultural building, was passed against the wishes of President Draper. In 1900, the construction of a new College of Agriculture Building, later renamed Davenport Hall, contributed to the growth and expansion of the College.
Cyril George Hopkins became head of the Department of Agronomy, and his groundbreaking corn breeding work improved the chemistry of the corn kernel. He later launched the Illinois System of Permanent Soil Fertility and determined that phosphate, limestone, and organic matter are needed for soil health, as is the annual rotation among crops.
The Department of Chemical Engineering (now Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) was founded in 1901 by Samuel Parr. It is one of the oldest chemical engineering departments in the nation. Parr developed standard methods for measuring the quality of coal and invented the Parr calorimeter, which is still used today for measuring the heating value of fuels.
On July 6, 1901 the Board of Trustees approved the expenditure of $250 to purchase squirrels for campus. In the recommendation in referring to why the campus needed squirrels it says 'If successful, the influence upon University life, and upon the feelings of students, would be considerable, and students would carry that influence to all parts of the State.'
The first Accounting course is offered as part of the Economics curriculum, taught by the Comptroller of the University and other accountants in that office. An organized program of business is reborn as The Courses of Training for Business with David Kinley acting as Director, and the university begins offering the first college-level courses in Business English.
Illinois' Chemistry Building opened as the largest single chemical laboratory in the world, and the first interdisciplinary research institute in chemistry. Over the next century, eight Nobel laureates receive their training there. In 1939, it was renamed in honor of William Albert Noyes, a legendary professor of organic chemistry and head of the Department of Chemistry from 1907 to 1926.
In 1910, Elizabeth Ruth Bennett became the first female to receive a mathematics PhD from the University of Illinois. Her thesis was titled “Primitive groups of degree 20,” written under the direction of G.A. Miller. The Elizabeth R. Bennett Scholarship in Mathematics at the University of Illinois was established in 1974 for undergraduate mathematics major students by Elizabeth Bennett’s bequest. Bennett Scholarships are still being given to this day.
The first UofI Homecoming celebration was conceived in 1909 by UI students C.F. Williams and Elmer Ekblaw, members of the Shield and Trident senior society. The center of the three-day celebration was the Illinois-Chicago football game on Oct. 15, 1910. More than 1,500 graduates returned to Champaign-Urbana at the original Homecoming, one-third of all its graduates. Illinois defeated Chicago, 3-0, on a drop-kick by Otto Seiler.
The Board of Trustees approves David Kinleys request to form a separate business college administrative unit. The College of Commerce opens with 581 students and 22 faculty members teaching in three departmentsEconomics, Business Organization and Operation, and Transportation. Nathan A. Weston, Professor of Economics, becomes Acting Dean of the College. Enrollment in the College nearly triples in its first five years.
Considered the beginning of University Housing. The speech at the event by President Edmund James is also why we never call our residence halls 'dorms.' President James says, 'I wish we might all agree, the members of the staff, the people of the community, and so on, to refer to this building as the Residence Hall for Women, and not the dormitory. The word dormitory is used to describe so many sleeping accommodations that are more like a ten-cent-a-night hotel that I should hate to have it applied to a building like this.'
African American students enrolled at the University, starting in the late 1880s. By the turn of the century, black student numbers continued to increase, although in small increments. Professors Tamara Hoff and Vanessa Rouillon share their research on African American experience in these earliest years on campus and in the Champaign-Urbana community. They illustrate how these students organized, networked and supported one another through social organizations (such as Alpha Kappa Alpha) and through the local community’s educational and social outlets (specifically, the Bethel AME Church). Exhibits and Refreshments included. archives.library.illinois.edu/150
The Bureau of Educational Research was established to disperse educational research and contribute to the improvement of education statewide. It continues to be an important unit in assisting the college in obtaining grants, training working professionals, and aiding academics in their scholarly pursuits.
Beginning as an instructor in 1920, Carl Speed Marvel pioneered polymer plastics technology and trained polymer chemists who would go on to develop products like nylon, neoprene and Mylar. Marvel helped to develop synthetic rubber first used during World War II and later used in such products as automobile tires and plastic wrap. He also helped to develop a material used in flame-repellant suits worn by astronauts.
The Senior Memorial Chime was installed in the Library Hall (now Altgeld Hall) tower in 1920. The chime was a gift of the classes of 1914-1921. The small room at the base of the tower was converted into the chime playing room, housing the playing and practice consoles, still in use today. In 1921 the automatic chime mechanism, controlled by a Seth Thomas clock, a gift of the Class of 1922, was installed in a small room on the roof of the playing room. The chimes were dedicated on homecoming weekend October 30, 1920.
Joseph Tykosinki-Tykociner arrived at the University of Illinois in 1921. By March 1922, he had finally created his first talkie, and his demonstration depicted Tykociners wife, Helena, ringing a bell and saying, I will ring, after which she asked the audience, “Did you hear the bell ring?” On June 9, 1922, Professor Tykociner gave the first-ever demonstration of sound on film in the Physics Building on the Illinois campus. Tykociner had produced what is called a variable density sound track along one side of the same film that records the picture images, thereby ensuring that pictures and sound would be synchronized. This achievement made international headlines, and forever changed the way the world watched and heard motion pictures.
The first air-cooled home in North America (1108 W. Stoughton Street, Urbana) was the result of a cooperative research program between the heating industry and the University. Dedicated in 1924, Research Residence No. 1 provided answers to heating and cooling questions and advanced the development of residential air conditioning. Seichi 'Bud' Konzo, his wife, and young daughter were tenants of Research Residence No. 1, a two-story Colonial-style home near the Illinois campus, while the professor supervised some of the earliest ongoing experiments involving residential central-air conditioning.
Red Grange had a performance for the ages when he scored four touchdowns in the first 12 minutes of a 39-14 victory over Michigan, on the first four times he touched the ball on runs of 95, 67, 56 and 44 yards. He later scored a fifth touchdown and threw for a sixth on the day Memorial Stadium was dedicated in front of 67,886 fans.
Today's College of Media traces it roots to the creation of the School of Journalism in 1927. Created by a bill passed by the fifty-fifth General Assembly of the State of Illinois, the legislation was signed into law by Governor Len Small on July 17, 1927. The School of Journalism opened on Sept. 19, 1927.
The university appropriates $12,000 to purchase contemporary paintings and sculptures for display in the new Architecture Building, which also serves as a venue for traveling exhibitions and annual faculty art shows. The elevation of the academic status of the arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign leads to the founding of the College of Fine and Applied arts in 1931 and attracts major gives and purchases for the university art collection.
Biochemist William C. Rose discovered threonine, the last of the eight essential amino acids that people must obtain from food. Rose joined the Illinois faculty in 1922, and worked there until 1955. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1936 and received the National Medal of Science in 1966.
The Great Depression was hard for everyone living at the time in this country, but the lasting effects continued to be seen for years and years to come. It's interesting to see campus life during a time of such struggle. Sadness, loss, and squalor were all present here, but so was happiness, youth, and joy. It's amazing to see the resilience in people's faces in the pictures. The diary of a young student showed how tight his finances were. Roger Ebert retells of the sadness which echoed on campus when the chimes of Altgeld Hall chimed no more. All can be seen in this collection brought to you by The Student Life and Culture Archives and created by Justin C. Williams, a practicum student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign completing his M.S. in Library and Information Science. Depression Era Exhibit
The University of Illinois Speech Clinic began as an outreach program in a janitor's mop closet in Lincoln Hall in 1938. Dr. Severina Nelson could find no other space to conduct her speech therapy. Two years later, with the title of director of the speech clinic and a $2,000 grant, Dr. Nelson moved the clinic to a spacious new office in Gregory Hall. The Speech and Hearing Clinic was later housed in the Lorado Taft House where it remained until it moved to its present building in 1975. In 2007, the Speech-Language Pathology Clinic moved to a new, expanded, state-of-the-art facility located in Research Park. The Audiology Clinic and the Department of Speech and Hearing Science remain in the Speech and Hearing Science building.
Physics Professor Donald Kerst built the world's first magnetic induction accelerator at the University of Illinois in 1940. Kersts invention yielded a new means to study atomic particles, contributing to advancements in particle accelerators in the era of Big Science.The betatron also began to be utilized in the medical industry, not only as an X-ray machine, but also as a radiation treatment for cancer.
In 1941 David Blackwell received his Ph.D. under the direction of Joseph L. Doob. Blackwell is widely regarded as the most famous African-American mathematician of any era; his trailblazing accomplishments highlight an inspiring story of dedication and perseverance against institutional and personal racial discrimination. In 1954 Blackwell gave an invited address at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Amsterdam.
The Illini Union building officially opened on February 8, 1941. The final cost was $1.4 million. In the same year, the Illini Union Board formed out of the Illinois Union Advisory Committee and the Men's and Women's Leagues. For the first anniversary in 1942, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt attended and cut the cake.
Richard Wesley Hamming received his PhD in 1942 from the University of Illinois. Hamming developed the first efficient methods for error correction, which are now known as Hamming codes. Hamming's work appears in a myriad of applications: coding theory is used in computer memory, CD and DVD technology, and cell phone transmission.
During Dr. Stewart Staley's tenure as director of the School of Physical Education, professional and academic programs were greatly enhanced. A master's degree program in physical education was added in 1942 and a doctoral degree program in 1948. Men could specialize in athletic coaching, health and safety, physical education, and recreation, while women could focus their studies on physical education, health education, community welfare, and recreation.
In 1944, Thomas K. Cureton became the director of the Physical Fitness Research Laboratory, one of the first of its kind in the nation. He developed methods to test motor and cardiovascular fitness and aquatic performance and to appraise the human physique. Cureton played a major role in the development of the fitness movement in America, and he is often referred to as the "Father of Physical Fitness."
In 1946, Professor William J. Fry founded the Bioacoustics Laboratory (now the Bioacoustics Research Laboratory) and began conducting pioneering research in the use of ultrasound as a noninvasive surgical tool. During the 1960s, Fry expanded his research focus to include the use of ultrasound as a visualization tool which, in conjunction with computers and other advanced electronics, could yield accurate images of tissue structure. The safe, convenient, high-quality ultrasound imaging so common today is a direct result of work carried out by Fry and colleagues.
While working at Bell Labs, John Bardeen and his colleagues Walter Brattain and William Shockley ushered in the era of solid state electronics (no vacuum tubes or moving parts) with their invention of the transistor, earning the team the 1956 Nobel Prize in physics. One of the most important inventions in modern history, the transistor is an essential component of nearly all modern electronics. Bardeen later became a professor of electrical engineering and physics at Illinois.
Established after World War II, the Antenna Lab achieved breakthroughs in antenna bandwidth, enabling the spread of television as well as advances in radio astronomy, radar, and space communications. Most of the innovations were enabled by the then-radical idea, credited to Professor Vic Rumsey, that antennas defined by angles rather than lengths could be sized independently of their operating frequency. By embodying Rumsey’s angular concept in an array of discrete elements, Professor Raymond DuHamel (BSEE ’47, MSEE ’48, PhD ’51) and student Dwight Isbell paved the way to “log-periodic” designs that became popular TV receivers.
The Applied Health Sciences Library was established in 1949 as the Physical Education Library. It was located in rooms 104 and 106 of the Main Library, because that was the midway between the male and female gymnasiums. The library began with 4,000 volumes and a capacity for 48 patrons. The director of the School of Physical Education, Dr. Seward C. Staley, was instrumental in the opening of the library by aiding in collection building and securing space for the library when the first doctoral degree was awarded to a physical education student in 1949.
In 1950, the university constructs the East Chemistry Building (now known as Roger Adams Laboratory) with chemical engineering studies in mind. The East Chemistry Building features a unit operations laboratory three stories tall. The building also includes a measurement and instrumentation lab for researchers to study at high pressures and a special lab for boiler water conditioning.
Dr. Thomas Cureton founds the Summer Youth Sports Fitness Program. One of the longest running summer youth fitness programs in the country, Dr. Cureton started the program as a service to the communities of Champaign and Urbana with the intent of providing an opportunity for children to stay physically active in an organized environment during the summer months.
Max Beberman founded "new mathematics," a method of teaching math that went beyond rote learning. Beberman was an Education professor and teacher at Uni High. Beberman led the University of Illinois Committee on School Mathematics (UICSM) and produced a number of 16 millimeter films of his classroom performance.
Physics Professor Ralph E. Meagher and colleagues developed ILLIAC I, the first digital computer entirely built and owned by an educational institution. ILLIAC I became operational on September 22, 1952. It used 2,800 vacuum tubes, and measured ten feet high, two feet wide, and eight and a half feet tall. It was used by Lajaren Hiller, director of the Experimental Music Studios, to compose and play the ILLIAC Suite, the first computer-composed composition. ILLIAC progressed through five generations, securing Illinois’ reputation as the leader in the field of largescale, high-performance computing. Each new ILLIAC incorporated innovations in architecture, memory, logic, and software that spread throughout the computer world. The ILLIAC series culminated in the mid 1960s with the ILLIAC IV supercomputer at the time the fastest and largest in the world.
The Illinois State Water Survey played a key role in developing tornado-tracking technology used today to issue warnings of impending severe storms. On April 9, 1953, ISWS meteorologists were the first to photograph and document a hook echo, a classic sign of tornado development. On that day, the radar showed a large hook-shaped echo emerging from a thunderstorm passing Champaign. The echo turned out to be the funnel of a large, developing tornado that moved 54 miles to the east. This was a nationally noted event, and helped launch a national research program aimed at tornado detection by radar.
In 1956 the Department of Mathematics made Altgeld Hall their permanent home. The final addition, constructed in 1956-57, created classrooms along the east side of the building, resulting in the blocking of many windows of the original structure and the enclosure of the East Reading Room. The skylight that had been over the stained glass dome was also removed at that time.
Physics and Electrical Engineering Professor John Bardeen shares the Nobel Prize in Physics for research on semiconductors and the invention of the transistor with former Bell Labs' colleagues, William Brattain, and William Shockley. The researchers had dicovered the transistor effect in late 1947 at Bell Telephone Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey.
In 1957, the College of Physical Education was established, with Seward Staley as dean. The college includes the Departments of Physical Education for Men and Women (later kinesiology), the Department of Health and Safety Studies (later community health), and the Department of Recreation (later Recreation, Sport and Tourism). The College itself will later be known as Applied Health Sciences.
John Bardeen’s transitor enabled engineers to design larger and more complex circuits, which in turn introduced a new problem: how to interconnect huge numbers of discrete components economically and reliably. Working at Texas Instruments in 1958, Jack St. Clair Kilby (BSEE ‘47) solved this problem (called the “tyranny of numbers”) with the integrated circuit (IC or microchip). Behind the IC lay the “monolithic idea” of combining circuit components on a solid slab of semiconducting material. Kilby’s invention changed the world. The IC essentially created the modern computer and telecommunications industries and is a key component in most of today’s electronic products. For his invention, Kilby won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2000.
Professor William Fry founded the Bioacoustics Laboratory in 1946 and began conducting pioneering research in the use of ultrasound as a noninvasive surgical tool and a visualization tool for diagnostics. His work contributed to today’s ultrasound imaging tools. As a result of Fry’s research, he felt that human neurosonic surgery could be achieved, and on March 21, 1958, a successful 12-hour operation using ultrasound was performed on a patient who had Parkinson’s disease.
Kilby wrote in a 1976 article titled "Invention of the IC." Kilby began to write down and sketch out his ideas in July of 1958. By September, he was ready to demonstrate a working integrated circuit built on a piece of semiconductor material. Several executives, including former TI Chairman Mark Shepherd, gathered for the event on September 12, 1958. What they saw was a sliver of germanium, with protruding wires, glued to a glass slide. It was a rough device, but when Kilby pressed the switch, an unending sine curve undulated across the oscilloscope screen.
Professor George W. Swenson Jr. established radio astronomy at Illinois with the Vermilion River Observatory (1959-1981), located near Danville. Swenson designed and oversaw construction of a 400 by 600 foot parabolic cylinder, a 120-foot dish, and several smaller instruments. Researchers at the observatory cataloged radio sources within and beyond the Milky Way, carried out spectroscopy of sources in star forming regions, and contributed to image synthesis as part of the Very Long Baseline Interferometry network of observatories.
The Computer-Based Education Research Laboratory was established in the 1960s. Here, Chalmers Sherwin and Donald Bitzer would develop PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations), the world's first time-shared computer-based education system. A tradition of innovation in computer-aided instruction at Illinois started with PLATO, which has since evolved into NovaNet.
Introduced in 1960 by Professor Donald L. Bitzer (BSEE ’55, MSEE ’56, PhD ’60), the legendary PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations) system offered a glimpse into the future of education and online computing. It represented the first use of a computer for pedagogy, the first time-shared education system, and the home of the first online community. PLATO developed into an extensive network through which students nationwide could study dozens of subjects interactively. PLATO users were among the first people to send e-mail, post to public bulletin boards, instant message, chat, use screen savers, use spell check, and play online games. The world’s first plasma displays were part of the PLATO system.
Krannert Art Museum opens, allowing for the permanent art collection to be cared for and exhibited alongside presentations of faculty work and traveling exhibitions. Over the years, juried prices are given for the purchase of works by Yves Tanguy (1900–1955), Stuart Davis (1894–1964), Sol LeWitt (1928–2007), and other prominent artists.
Professor Nick Holonyak Jr. (BSEE ’50, MSEE ’51, PhD ’54) was the first PhD student of Nobel Prize winner John Bardeen, and he has carried on Bardeen’s legacy as a semiconductor pioneer. Working at General Electric in 1962, Holonyak developed the first practical, visible-spectrum light-emitting diode (LED), changing information display and illumination forever. Some of the most common applications include architectural lighting, traffic lights, flashlights, remote controls, large-scale displays, signage, and status indicators on devices like cell phones. Since joining the ECE faculty in 1963, Holonyak— along with his Illinois students and colleagues—has gone on to develop the quantum well laser, improvements for vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), and most recently, the transistor laser.
Commerce West, named because of its position directly west of David Kinley Hall, opens. The 98,000-square-foot building houses classroom space, 100 offices, a 350-seat auditorium, and an IBM computer. The fourth floor, dedicated to faculty and graduate offices, has no womens restroombecause there are no female staff or graduate students at the time. The cost of the building is $3.3 million.
Professors Donald L. Bitzer (BSEE ‘55, MSEE ‘56, PhD ‘60) and H. Gene Slottow (PhD ‘64), along with student Robert H. Willson (PhD ‘66), invented the plasma display panel in 1964. Originally conceived as an interactive component of the PLATO educational network, the plasma panel was both a display and a storage device. Each pixel or dot on the screen glowed like a little neon sign. Once a pixel was lit, it stayed lit until the person at the PLATO terminal requested new information from the computer. The plasma display created at Illinois is the forerunner to today’s high-definiton flat-panel television monitors. In recognition of their invention and its importance, Bitzer, Slottow, and Willson received an Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts in 2002.
In 1965, Professor Chih-Teng Sah received an NSF grant to purchase equipment for an undergraduate laboratory to accompany lectures specifically on semiconductor materials and solid-state devices, which allowed ECE ILLINOIS to pioneer education on fabricating those materials. The lab evolved into today's ECE 444, Integrated Circuit Fabrication Laboratory, and ECE ILLINOIS began pioneering work in teaching nanofabrication to undergraduates with its move to the new ECE Building in 2014.
Krannert Center, designed by Illinois graduate Max Abramovitz, opened in April 1969 to high praise during its month-long dedication. A critic for The New York Times called the facility “one of the most ingeniously worked out art complexes anywhere,” and a writer for the Christian Science Monitor noted that “the performing arts now have a home equal to the gilded science-palaces that adorn other campuses.” Today, Krannert Center is recognized as the nation’s premier university-based performing arts center.
In September of 1969, the Board of Trustees approved naming the recently acquired building at 801 S. Wright Street after the late Arthur B. Coble. Dr. Coble was a professor of mathematics for 39 years and served as head of the department from 1933 until retirement in 1947. He died in 1966 at the age of 88. In addition to his work as teacher and administrator, he was the author of many articles, which earned him distinction as a mathematician and pre-eminence in the field of algebraic geometry. His election to the National Academy of Sciences recognized his achievement in the field of algebraic geometry. Dr. Coble also served as president of the American Mathematical Society. Before the building was owned by the University, it had been a YWCA, serving as a meeting pace and a residence for women students. Today, Coble Hall is home to the Graduate College.
In 1871, pioneering research on the culture and use of trees in Illinois for economic benefit was instituted with the establishment of an experimental plantation (formerly The Forestry, with the remaining portion now called the Illini Grove) that predates the more famous Morrow Plots, the first agricultural experimental fields in North America. Also in 1871, the earliest forestry course to be offered in the United States was initiated by Thomas J. Burrill, a pioneer in the developing field of plant pathology.
From the Daily Illini - August 23, 2013 - While Quad Day has now become a staple during Welcome Week, it started as a completely different event over 40 years agoIn September 1971, the Office of Student Programs and the Illini Union teamed up to host the first official Quad Day to welcome new students to campus. In the midst of building war tensions throughout the nations college campuses, the purpose of Quad Day was mostly to show freshmen that the University could be a home away from home and to inform them of the different support services available to them.
In 1977 the Four Color Theorem was established by Ken Appel and Wolfgang Haken (published their research in Illinois Journal of Mathematics). The Four Color Problem says that for every map in the plane (equivalently, on the surface of a sphere), the regions can be colored using four colors so that regions sharing a boundary of nonzero length receive distinct colors; this is called a proper 4-coloring.
In 1977, ECE alumnus and Professor Nick Holonyak Jr. and his students developed the quantum-well laser, which created a practical laser for fiber-optic communications, compact disc players, medical diagnosis, surgery, ophthalmology, and many other applications. This was an addition to his already impressive resume, which includes creating the first visible LED while at GE.
Biologists originally believed all life on Earth belonged to one of two primary lineages, the eukaryotes (animals, plants, fungi and certain unicellular organisms) and the prokaryotes (all remaining microscopic organisms). Woese discovered within prokaryotes, two distinct groups of organisms exist, and due to his work it is now widely agreed that there are three primary divisions of living systems: the Eukarya, Bacteria, and the new group of organisms, the Archaea. Initially thought to exist only in extreme environments, microbiologists later realized Archaea are a large and diverse group, widely distributed in nature and commonly found in habitats such as soils and oceans.
The College of Commerce and Business Administration establishes itself as a campus leader in information systems by creating the Office for Information Management “to allow faculty to pose the research questions that could not be asked before the information revolution and to prepare student to manage the information that will be available in the 1990s and beyond.”
Illinois Governor James Thompson declares September 7, 1985, to be Tim Nugent Day in honor of his numerous achievements with the Division of Rehabilitation-Education Services. Under his leadership, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign adopted the nation’s first curb cuts and wheelchair-accessible fixed-route bus system. Dr. Nugent’s research formed the foundation of the first architectural accessibility standards that would become the American National Standards Institute Standards. He also founded the first collegiate adapted sports and recreation program for students with disabilities.
Responding to a 'famine' of supercomputing power for U.S. researchers, Illinois astrophysicist Larry Smarr and seven Illinois colleagues submitted an unsolicited proposal to the National Science Foundation, asking for funding to launch supercomputing centers. NSF responded in 1985 by establishing the National Center for Supercomputing Applications with Smarr as its first director. NCSA 'opened for business' early in 1986.
In the spring of 1986, NCSA kicked off its Industrial Partners program with a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal. By August, the program, then called the Private Sector Program, had established a $3 million relationship with Kodak. More than 20 Fortune 500 companies have since collaborated with NCSA.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology was held during the University of Illinois' Foundation annual meeting. One of the first interdisciplinary research institutes in the country, the building was made possible by a generous gift from U of I alumnus and founder of Beckman Instruments, Inc., Arnold O. Beckman, and his wife Mabel M. Beckman, with a supplement from the State of Illinois.
NCSA Telnet was the center’s first major software release. Ultimately, there were many pieces of software based on the telnet protocol, which allowed users to log in to other computers via the Internet and issue commands and run programs on those host machines. NCSA Telnet, however, was among the first and most popular (in part because of its integrated file transfer capability). By 1991, in an era when there were dramatically fewer people on the Net, the application had more than 100,000 users.
The Office of Volunteer Programs started in 1988 and is still running today. It started with events such as the United Way Kick Off, Make a Difference Day (M.A.D.D.), and National Volunteer Week. Today the office promotes community service by encouraging students to donate their time and volunteer for the local community. OVP takes students' interests into account and pairs them accordingly with opportunities where they gain invaluable experience through public engagement. Year after year, university students volunteer thousands of dedicated hours in the Champaign-Urbana community.
A groundbreaking animation of a thunderstorm created by Professor Robert Wilhelmson, an atmospheric scientist and pioneer in the use of computer graphics to simulate severe storms, receives 14 awards, including an Academy Award nomination. He later simulates the formation of a tornado from a severe thunderstorm-a feat that is helping in storm prediction.
The Office of Community College Research and Leadership was founded with funding from the Illinois State Board of Education. With Director Debra Bragg at the helm, its mission was and is to provide leadership and service to community college educators and assist in improving higher education policy and practice.
Under the guidance of Founding Director Theodore “Ted” Brown, the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology celebrated its founding in April 1989 with a symposium that featured George Edelman, winner of the 1972 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and then-director of the Neurosciences Institute at Rockefeller University. The Beckman Institute was made possible by a generous gift from U of I alumnus and founder of Beckman Instruments, Inc., Arnold O. Beckman, and his wife Mabel M. Beckman, with a supplement from the State of Illinois.
The Department of Health and Safety Studies is renamed the Department of Community Health. By 1996, undergraduate and graduate programs in rehabilitation and rehabilitationeducation have joined the department and the Office of Gerontology and Aging Studies has moved from the Institute for Research on Human Development to Community Health.
In 1993 NCSA Mosaic broke away from the small pack of Web browsers with features like icons, bookmarks, an easy-to-use interface, and pictures. Soon more than 5,000 copies were being downloaded (free!) each month. Several Mosaic developers launched Netscape Navigator and more than 100 companies, including Microsoft, licensed the Mosaic software.
The Department of Kinesiology celebrates its centennial year. The Department of Physical Training for Men and the Department of Physical Training for Women were established in 1895 under the direction of Henry Houghton Everett and Ella Morrison. The program for men emphasized the value of physical exercise and training for athletic competition, as well as such topics as personal hygiene, tobacco and alcohol use, and applied anatomy. The program for women focused on defects of bodily carriage and movement, and the use of exercise to correct rounded shoulders, uneven hips, and drooping heads.
Illinois Business Consulting (IBC) is established in the College of Commerce and Business Administration as a way to enable students to apply their academic experience to real-world business issues. Through IBC, hundreds of College of Business students have completed more than 1,000 projects for more than 500 businesses.
The 1997 International Trombone Festival brought over 1000 trombonists to the campus with faculty including trombone sections and members of the Chicago, Concertgebow (Amsterdam), St Louis Symphony and Vienna Philharmonic. It marked the first performance of the American Brass Quintet on campus. Hosted by Elliot Chasanov, Professor of Trombone.
The Program in Jewish Culture & Society is a vibrant part of campus and community life. We host a variety of events from film series to lectures to Klezmer concerts to workshops to reading groups. Our minors and majors are growing and we teach a wonderful array of courses from the Talmud to Graphic Novels!
The Summer Pre-Doctoral Institute (SPI) serves incoming graduate students from U.S. populations underrepresented in graduate programs on our campus. This multi-week program prepares students for the rigors, culture, and research expectations of graduate school and provides the opportunity to work with a summer research advisor in their department. SPI began in 1999 with a cohort of eight students. Since then, 463 students have participated in the program, the majority of whom have completed their advanced degrees and gone on to careers in a wide range of disciplines.
The Disability Research Institute is established with an $18 million grant from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Funded from June 2000 to July 2007 as a cooperative agreement between SSA and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Disability Research Institute (DRI) developed a national network of partners producing high-impact research in disability.
i-card Programs was established to provide UINs, identity assurance, and carding support to the entire University. The official University of Illinois ID card, the i-card, enables students, faculty, and staff to quickly and easily pay for meals, borrow library books, and access campus facilities and services. The Urbana ID Center issues over 30,000 cards each year.
Paul C. Lauterbur, a pioneer in the development of magnetic resonance imaging and a chemistry professor, was been awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He shared the prize with Sir Peter Mansfield of the University of Nottingham in England. Mansfield was a research associate in the Department of Physics at Illinois from 1962-1964. They were lauded for seminal discoveries concerning the use of magnetic resonance to visualize different structures.
In 2004, the Department of Leisure Studies changed its name to the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism to better reflect its education, research, and outreach activities. Similarly, the Division of Rehabilitation Education Services became the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services that year. In 2005, the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health formed from the merger of the Department of Kinesiology and the Department of Community Health. The College of Applied Life Studies changed its name to the College of Applied Health Sciences in 2006.
Professors Nick Holonyak Jr. and Milton Feng invented the first transistor laser, a device that significantly changes the science and technology of lasers and introduces basic changes in the traditional transistor and what is known about its operation. They began discussions on the transistor laser in 2003 and completed the first demonstration in 2004. Their first patent for the transistor laser was filed in February 2005 and issued in 2006.
The Higher Education Collaborative was formed as an interdepartmental, cross-disciplinary affiliation of individuals with teaching, research, and professional interests in higher learning in the U.S. and worldwide. HEC sponsors speakers every semester to present research and discuss critical issues affecting higher education.
The first selection was "Nickel and Dimed" by Barbara Ehrenich. Subsequently, each year a panel of key university representatives compiles a list of books for the Chancellor to select from and the university community subsequently turns into a giant book club. Programs and curriculum are built around the selection, lectures are held and discussion groups ignite exciting dialogue.
In 2000, Governor George Ryan issued support of what was then called the PostGenomic Institute, and in 2002 funding was released for the project that would eventually become the Institute for Genomic Biology. Governor Rod Blagojevich broke ground on the construction site in June of 2003. Construction of the $75 million, 186,000 square foot state-of- the-art facility began in April 2004, was completed in November 2006, and the building was officially dedicated on March 29, 2007.
Brigit Pegeen Kelly, a professor in the Department of English, was recognized by the Academy of American Poets for a career of distinguished poetic achievement. She was the 2008 recipient of the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, which in the past has gone to poets such as E.E. Cummings, Robert Frost, Gwendolyn Brooks, Carlos Williams, and Marianne Moore.
The Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism launches an online master’s degree to meet the needs of RST professionals who would like to continue their education but who are unable to pursue a degree through a full-time, residential program. One of the first of its kind in the nation, the online degree was developed in partnership with the University of Illinois Global Campus. In 2009, RST assumed full ownership of the online degree program.
There is a campus dorm named after Cyril Hopkins and he is buried in the cemetery directly south of Turner Hall. He received an award from the King of Greece. He accepted the award in Greece and subsequently died on the way home after receiving the award. A WWII liberty ship was named after him, built in 1944, sunk in 1964. Hopkins fundamentally changed the concept of soil fertility worldwide.
After a three-year $54 million renovation of IMPE, the facility reopens as the Activities and Recreation Center. The new facility features a 35.5' tall climbing wall, a 1/5-mile indoor track (second longest in the country), an instructional kitchen, an auditorium, 35-person sauna, four gyms, nine multipurpose rooms, three meeting rooms, and two 50-meter swimming pools.
The Department of Kinesiology and Community Health admits its first cohort of students to the Master of Public Health degree program, which focuses on approaches to reducing the burden of chronic diseases through an interdisciplinary curriculum. Students in the program complete a practicum experience in a community-based health agency and a capstone experience that integrates all aspects of their educational experience. The MPH program was accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH) in 2013.
The College of Applied Health Sciences offers a new undergraduate degree program in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences. It features an interdisciplinary curriculum that addresses the complexity of human health through course offerings in applied health sciences, food science and human nutrition, psychology, social work, anthropology, communications, education, history, and sociology. The i-Health degree provides a foundation to understand health from perspectives related to individual lifestyle, family, community, and culture. Students may focus their studies on health and aging, health behavior change, or health diversity.
The Graduate College and University Library partner to make it possible for graduate students to submit their theses and dissertations online. The new system, Electronic Thesis and Dissertations (ETD), eliminates a lot of paper, time, and cost for students and the University. ETDs become quickly available on the Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship (IDEALS), an electronic database of research that can be accessed around the world by the academic community and through search engines. Theodoros Tsiligkaridis of Electrical & Computer Engineering was the first student to submit an ETD when he deposited his master’s thesis: “Fast Peak-Power Reduction for MIMO-OFDM Systems with Diversity.”
Research using the transistor laser led Professors Nick Holonyak Jr. and Milton Feng to rewrite Kirchhoffs current law. The unique properties of the transistor laser required Holonyak, Feng, and graduate student Han Wui reexamine and modify the law to account for photon particles as well as electrons, effectively expanding it from a current law to a current-energy law.
The first university residence hall in the nation to house students with severe physical disabilities opens. Timothy J. Nugent Hall houses the Beckwith Residential Support Services program on its first floor, which serves students who require assistance with the performance of tasks of daily living. Their rooms are equipped with lift technology, adjustable furniture, keyless entries, and wireless paging systems.
A multi-institutional team of researchers, led by John Gerlt, Gutgsell Chair, Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry, received a prestigious and highly competitive 'Glue grant' from the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences. Glue grants provide resources to tackle 'complex problems that are of central importance to biomedical science but are beyond the means of any one research group,' so these 'glue' together multidisciplinary groups of investigators. This Glue grant, known as the Enzyme Function Initiative (EFI), will develop a strategy for discovering the functions of unknown enzymes discovered in genome sequencing projects. The EFI will receive $33.9 million in total costs for the five-year project.
The College of Applied Health Sciences dedicates the Khan Annex, a fully accessible, state-of-the-art teaching and research facility that houses the Center on Health, Aging, and Disability and the Master of Public Health program. The north wing addition to Huff Hall completes the original vision of the building from 1924, when a lack of funds prevented the north wing from being built.
The College of Applied Health Sciences launches a combined BS-MPH program that enables students to complete an undergraduate degree and a Master of Public Health degree in five years. Open to students in Kinesiology, Community Health, and Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, the program combines coursework from a student’s senior year with a fifth year of graduate study.
The Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services and Timothy J. Nugent Hall receive the 2012 Barrier-Free America Award from Paralyzed Veterans of America. Opened in 2010, Nugent Hall features several private sleep/study rooms with shared baths, equipped with a remote-controlled ceiling lift system, sensor-controlled light switches and keyless entry systems, and adjustable furniture. The residence hall also offers accessible elevators, wide hallways, a voice recognition computer lab, and a dining hall with wheelchair-friendly lower counter heights.
The College of Applied Health Sciences announces plan to build a center for student veterans who have sustained severe and multiple injuries while serving in the military. University of Illinois alumnus Ronald Chez donates a $6 million lead gift, and Governor Patrick Quinn announces $4 million in capital funding for the project.
Consumer Federation of America, University of Illinois Student Financial Services & Cashier Operations (USFSCO) Student Money Management Center (SMMC) and University of Illinois Extension organized a pilot university-based savings competition, University of Illinois Saves, between the 3 campuses, which began during America Saves Week and ran through Money Smart Week 2012.
Campus Recreation celebrated its 50th anniversary as a stand-alone department and 100 years of recreation on campus. As part of the celebration, the inaugural Campus Rec Hall of Fame class was inducted, including: Dr. Dave Mathews (first director), Jesse “Tony” Clements (2nd ever director and campus legend), Bobbi Hein (administrative assistant since start of department – retired after 30 years), Bob McGrew (first outdoor adventure director), and Jerry Markbreit (Illinois student referee who became an NCAA D1 and longtime NFL official).
The Blue Waters supercomputer entered production, meaning the behemoth capable of performing quadrillions of calculations every second and working with quadrillions of bytes of data started crunching numbers around the clock to help scientists and engineers across the country tackle a wide variety of science and engineering challenges.
University of Illinois Gutgsell Endowed Professor of Crop Sciences and Plant Biology and IGB faculty member Stephen P. Long has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, the world's oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. Members are elected for life on the basis of excellence in science, via a thorough peer review process.
This recording features the 18th-century harpsichord works of the youngest member of the famous Couperin dynasty. Reviewed in the American Record Guide, which said: Charlotte Mattax Moersch is a sensitive and imaginative player The Allemande has just the right lilt, just the right nobility, and the more extroverted pieces have the appropriate pomp and circumstance. Id choose [this recording] hands down.
The Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES), the service unit of the College of Applied Health Sciences, receives designation as an official U.S. Paralympic Training Site by the United States Olympic Committee. The training site measures 2100 square feet and boasts specialized equipment such as roller stations, Nordic ski ergs, and weights, most of which was made possible through the support of sponsor BP, which donated $160,000 toward the creation of the new training site. The University of Illinois wheelchair program has turned out such outstanding Paralympic athletes as Sharon Hedrick, Jean Driscoll, and Tatyana McFadden.
In November 2014, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Sandia National Laboratories signed a formal five-year agreement to advance collaboration and information sharing between one of the worlds premier research universities and the Department of Energys National Security Lab. This partnership is aligned around solving this nations big problems, sustaining and engaging human capital, and accelerating the adoption of new technology. Initial technical focus areas include programs in complex systems and resiliency, data science, digital manufacturing, and on-demand power. The Universitys Illinois Applied Research Institute will host Sandia at its facility in the University of Illinois Research Park.
The College of Applied Health Sciences launches an online professional certificate program called Information Accessibility Design and Policy for website developers, information specialists, and disability service providers. The program addresses principles, policies, and practices of information accessibility; designing universally accessible web resources; and accessible software and web applications. Long a leader in disability support programs, AHS initiates the certificate program to ensure that people with disabilities have the same access to information sources as people without disabilities, be they digital, video, audio, or print.
The College of Applied Health Sciences dedicates the Chez Family Foundation Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education. A one-stop, state-of-the-art facility, the center provides comprehensive residential and non-residential support services to student veterans and their families, including academic tutoring and coaching, career services, and counseling services for veterans and their families. . In addition, Veterans Administration staff members are on site to help veterans register for the benefits to which they are entitled.
For the first time, scientists observed gravitational waves, arriving at the earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. Thirty years prior, NCSA was founded by Larry Smarr based on the premise that numerically modeling scientific problems, such as the colliding of black holes, required high-performance computing to make progress. Smarr’s doctoral thesis had itself been on the modeling of the head-on collision of two black holes and he later formed a numerical group to study and simulate black hole and gravitational wave problems.