A return trip to campus for a 2019 Women’s Reunion & Symposium at the School of Architecture triggered those same warm and fuzzy feelings Brodie Bain has had about C-U for three-plus decades.
From Seattle, Perkins + Will’s principal and campus planning director writes: “I came to the cornfields in 1985 and my eyes were opened. It was a leap I took, returning to school after an unrelated degree to seek a master in architecture with no connections to Illinois.
“And it changed my life. I was exposed to people and ideas that broadened my understanding of the world, becoming my compass and lifelong guides.
“The experience of returning (in fall 2019) includes a level of comfort and familiarity yet parallel strangeness for the changes that happen during 30 years of absence. But on campus, I was once again amidst the buzz of throngs of people and bikes on a regular day.
“Some of the paths have changed; yet, the feeling is the exactly same. And the respite offered by open spaces throughout to connect or reflect, those are still there. This perfect balance of calm and complexity nourished me back then.
“This is one land-grant school where the contact with land, and promise, feels forever. The scale and spaciousness so grand, yet open and inviting, all the way to indoor spaces like the endless stacks and elegant reading room in the library. Both offered a sense of promise back then, holding rich ideas that came before and possibilities that lay ahead.
“Looking back, it was a brave move for me to take that leap and yet now I have the cert of knowing it was worth it.”