Anne Marie Segal has earned degrees from some of America’s most prestigious universities — a JD from NYU, a master’s in art history from the University of Chicago — and she’s here to tell you: She’s never experienced anything quite like the favorite spot of so many former Illini.
“Out of the many places on the Champaign-Urbana campus that I hold dear, the place that made the greatest impression upon me was the Main Stacks at the library,” says the CEO of New York’s Segal Coaching, who majored in creative writing here from 1989-91.
“A stark contrast with the bustle of activity outside, the Stacks was a quiet place that allowed measured self-reflection among the wisdom of the ages.
“My words may sound like hyperbole, but in all seriousness, it is a space apart.
“It was at this point in my student career — my freshman and sophomore years of college — that I truly began to appreciate the diversity of opinions on any topic and that for any question we could imagine as human beings, there was not one book, or one opinion, but possibly 20 or even hundreds.
“This was before the Internet, of course, which as we know gives us more information, but not always greater wisdom.
“I spent hours hunting for and wading through books, each with its own unique look, feel and smell. The Stacks were truly heaven for a book geek, and they cemented my lifelong relationship with the written word. I could hardly believe that I was granted access to this treasure with nothing more than a student ID.”