Adam Lashinsky’s path to the top of the masthead at Fortune magazine began three decades ago at 57 East Green Street.
“I joined The Daily Illini as a senior and as a weekly opinion columnist, having convinced opinions editor Christopher Wills that he needed to give me a column that semester so that I could write about the 1988 presidential election,” says Lashinsky, who majored in history and political science at the UI.
“I arrived at the Illini Media Company’s then-newish building and immediately fell in love with journalism. I loved hanging out at the DI, and I spent a lot of time in the newsroom. It was on the second floor. I don’t remember much about what it looked like other than that it was new and filled with big bulky computer terminals.
“Back then, we had to enter our own copy into the publishing system — today, I send Word files (from San Francisco) to an editor in New York — and that accounted for a lot of the time I spent there. At least in the fall of 1988, we had no fax machine in the newsroom, and I remember walking across the street to Kinko’s to get faxes.
“I spent many happy hours at the DI — more as the year wore on — often late into the night. I was a member of a fraternity at Illinois, but I never felt as home in the frat house as I did in the DI newsroom. It was there that I caught the bug that I would make my career. And it was there that I learned how quickly deep, warm, meaningful friendships are formed between journalists in newsrooms."