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Avis (Sampson) LaVelle

Avis (Sampson) LaVelle

Former press secretary to Chicago Mayor Richard Daly | Executive director, Business Leadership Council | Class of 1975

For a good time in the mid-'70s, it was tough to top Campustown’s Red Lion Inn

Take it from a regular of the late, great music joint from those days — Avis (Sampson) LaVelle.

“I’m  a 1975 graduate of the College of Communications and I loved every minute of my time at U of I,” she says. “Some of my most wonderful memories are of the Red Lion Inn — It was a pizza parlor that specialized in live music. 

“I got to see some amazing acts there, including some that went on to national and international prominence. I saw Rufus featuring Chaka Khan there several times.

“I don't remember if the pizza was good but the music was a blast.”

LaVelle went on to enjoy a distinguished career in her field, with job titles that included VP of corportate affairs for Northstar Lottery Group, president of the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners and press secretary for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.