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Aaron Buckley

Aaron Buckley

Microsoft director | Revenue and monetization | Class of 1995

"I’m third-generation U of I," says Microsoft's Aaron Buckley, whose grandparents kicked off the family tradition. "My grandmother was one of the first women to receive an undergraduate degree in physics, and my parents served as faculty at the U of I, where I also met my wife.

"Our family bleeds orange and blue. As a student of University High School, I was on campus frequently before becoming a student, and also for many years after. So, it is hard to pick just a single place.

"However, if I had to choose just one, it would be Krannert. My favorite commute to class as a student was junior year when my apartment was east of campus in Urbana, which took me right by Krannert.

"Over the first few weeks of walking to and from class, I noticed people going up and over Krannert rather than around it, and I came to love the shortcut. The stairs up to the roof connecting to the outdoor amphitheater was such a pleasant path over an architecturally significant and very interesting building. 

"It has a wonderful view of campus, and from the top on a cold, clear day, you can hear all of Champaign-Urbana out to I-57 and I-72. My wife is also a UIUC alumna and completed her DMA in vocal performance after we were married. For one of our first dates, I will never forget hearing her sing in a performance in the Great Hall.

"After the show, we went up to that same favorite spot at the top of the amphitheater and enjoyed a bottle of wine together and the view.

"Now, we have three children, two of which have been to shows at Krannert. So, this adds to the magic of that location for me."