When she’d enter the Stacks, she was Cassandra Chaney, hard-working human and community development grad student.
And when she’d exit, she was ... “Superwoman,” Chaney says with a laugh. “I am convinced that the Stacks gave me intellectual power, similar to the man that enters a building as Clark Kent and leaves as Superman.”
Only the best and brightest were allowed entry to the UI library’s most exclusive club, which Chaney, now an LSU professor of child and family studies, remembers as one part empowering and one part a little on the creepy side.
“It was a little creepy when you had to get a book at night and you heard bumps and thumps,” she recalls, “but I loved being surrounded by books. This was my secret place where I would read — it was incredibly peaceful, go to collect my thoughts and gain focus.”
Also on Chaney’s “things I miss” list:
— The student-run cafe in Bevier Hall. “Going to the Bevier Cafe was a real treat and I miss the clanking sounds of the utensils and dishware. I so wish that my building had a student-run eatery like Bevier Cafe in it.”
— The scenery. “I miss the cornfields. Where I reside, I would have to travel some ways to see them, but when I was in graduate school, I lived in an apartment complex that was surrounded by cornfields. The smell of the cornfields after a nice rain was heaven.”
— Willard Airport. “I loved that I could check in so easily and quickly. When compared to much larger airports in Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York, Champaign’s airport is reminiscent of a time when life was simpler, slower and more enjoyable.”
— The educators who helped mold her into the full professor she’s become. “Most important, what I love most about the U of I are the people. I had excellent mentors like Dr. Laurie Kramer, Dr. Angela Wiley, Dr. Robin Jarrett, Dr. Wendy Haight and Dr. Carla McCowan, who all supported by personal and professional growth, and who all contributed to my recent promotion to full professor.
“All in all, the values, kindness and consideration of the people made the U of I experience one I will never forget.”