An Illini love story, Altgeld Hall edition ...
"My favorite spot is easy to recall: It’s Room 314 Altgeld, where my wife Penny and I met. We were both in CS 264, and I had her eating out of the palm of my hand after I laid my best pickup line on her in that room, ‘What’s the lab like with this class?’ A snappy seven years later, we were married,” says IBM vice president/fellow Brad McCredie, a three-degree Illini who earned his bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering during a nine-year stretch that ended in 1991.
“We took our kids there when they were about 7 or 8 to show them where we met. That was pretty anti-climactic — they walked in, looked around, shrugged their shoulders and walked out.
“I went on to computer engineering and grad school after that and worked in Henri Merkelo’s lab in the basement of the Metallurgy and Mining Building. My office had 5-foot, 11-inch ceilings to go with my 6-foot height and a very sore noggin. Every plumbing pipe from the whole building went through it and you could tell every time someone in the building flushed.
“Nonetheless, it was certainly one of the best times of my life working there. We had to move to the basement from the top floor because the top of the building shook too much for us to do our research work using lasers.
“Probably the place with the most memories over my tenure was South Farms, where the U of I ultimate team practiced. I spent many hours there. I think our field has since been turned into the Illinois Arboretum but I will always remember it as the birthplace of Illinois Ultimate. We were always just one win away from making the national championship tournament while I was there but I think since then the team has gone on to win nationals once or twice, which is really cool.
“I could probably go on awhile remembering all the great times and places I’d been around Champaign-Urbana, including IMPE building, and many great lunch spots, including the YMCA on Wright Street, where they served the best Thai food on Thursdays. Penny still makes that same spicy beef recipe for me on my birthday every year.
"We also still have the work of a local Illinois artist — Larry Kanfer — hanging in the front room of our house. Got one of the best shots from him to sum up central Illinois.
“It’s titled ‘Flatville.’”