University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Philomahean Society cover

Reflections of Traditions

Publication cover from the Philomathean Society, one of two literary societies for men formed by the administration in 1869 and specialized in debate and oratory.

Copyright page from Illio yearbook

Strong Foundations

Copyright page for the Illio yearbook which was distributed to students in 1923.

Photo of 1910 men's basketball team

'I' Symbolizes Confidence and Individuality

Illinois men’s basketball team, 1910.

1892 Sophograph

Insight from the Past

Class history excerpt from the 1892 Sophograph, published by the sophomore class in an annual commentary on students and university life. It featured articles, poetry, cartoons, photographs, quotations describing personalities, class rolls, directories of student officers, class histories, class rivalries, athletic activities, military drills, social events, jokes, and advertisements. In 1894, the Illio replaced the Sophograph as the student annual.


Image of a graduate

Academic Excellence

The university, with its history and prestige, stands as the flagship public institution of the state of Illinois. Here, the traditions of scholarship and service are given focus for the challenges of the future.

Tea ceremony at Japan House

Innovative Teaching

Through courses and seminars, community outreach programs, and international visiting artists, Japan House builds a strong understanding of cultural diversity. Located in the University Arboretum, it offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere to the Illinois campus.

Two researchers interact in a virtual world in the Cave Automatic Virtual Environment


The Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE), located at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology in Urbana, is used by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications Visualization and Virtual Environments Group to conduct various types of research in the fields of virtual reality and scientific visualization. A wide range of academic disciplines are represented in the various organizations that make use of the CAVE’s unique spatial visualization capabilities.

Marching Illini band member cheering


The Marching Illini annually includes approximately 350 of the university's finest and most dedicated students. Members represent virtually every college, discipline, and major on campus.

Flourence of a stained DNA gel viewed under ultraviolet light

Research for the Future

Flourence of a stained DNA gel viewed under ultraviolet light. Leading the way in genomic science and technology, the Institute for Genomic Biology became a key landmark for the Illinois campus with the dedication of a new, multimillion dollar building on March 29, 2007. The Institute's mission is to advance life science research at the university to stimulate bio-economic development in the state of Illinois.

Growth trays

Research Advances

How will humanity deal with the pressing need for new drugs to treat pathogens that are resistant to antibiotics? Collaborative research being done in the Institute for Genomic Biology could ultimately lead to the discovery of novel classes of antibiotics, improved production methods, and better ways to examine antibiotic efficacy in human and animal hosts.


Architectural Landscape

Column at Smith Memorial Hall


Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Smith Memorial Hall was built in the 1920s and housed the fledgling Music Department’s classrooms, concert hall, and library. Its ‘jewel’ is Smith Memorial Room, a drawing-room reminiscent of European palaces with crystal chandeliers and exquisite décor.

Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology

Contemporary Streamlining

Completed in 1989, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology serves as a model of interdisciplinary collaboration with more than 600 scientists from 30 departments working together on three main themes: Biological Intelligence, Human-Computer Intelligent Interaction, and Molecular and Electronic Nanostructures.

Columns at Foellinger Auditorium

Classic Structures

Dedicated in November 1907, Foellinger Auditorium has been a place where university students, staff and faculty, public figures, orators, educators and scientists have spoken or performed at the Auditorium: Notable speakers who have appeared at Foellinger include John Phillip Sousa (1909), Jane Addams (1915), Robert Frost (1929), Ravi Shankar (1961), Duke Ellington (1948), Eleanor Roosevelt (1956), R. Buckminster Fuller (1974), Maya Angelou (1996), and Bill Gates (2004).

“Thousands of students may gather here where now there are only hundreds. The taste of a growing and refining people may demand a reconstruction of many of our buildings. Certainly another and larger hall will be demanded for many common purposes; but I cannot conceive of a time when the simple noble lines of this structure will ever cease to be a delight to our successors.”

The Quad

Campus Crossroads

The university's Quad. Although not formally planned, a series of well-worn footpaths and dirt roads soon criss-crossed the campus. By 1913, the Quad had truly begun to resemble its ultimate shape, eventually becoming the geographic and emotional “heart” of the campus.