On his wall hang three UI degrees — bachelor’s in computer engineering (’97), master’s in electrical engineering (’99) and a JD (’02) — so Chris George gets to pick three places.
That is, besides the obvious choice: the engineering campus, where the Chicago intellectual property attorney met his future wife during his nine-year stretch in C-U.
1. “The engineering council office on the third floor of Engineering Hall, where many hours and several all-nighters were pulled doing homework, planning student events like the Engineering Open House, and making friendships that last to this day.”
2. “Assembly Hall, where a couple of friends and I were lucky to have front-row, center-court seats for many years as students. I still get goosebumps when I hear the band play at the end of a game, and I remember many wonderful games talking with the referees and the players and once accidentally running out onto the court during the game at the end of an upset win over Wisconsin in the ’90s. We thought the game was over, but there were still a few seconds left.”
3. “The rather obscure location of Kenney Gym on Springfield Avenue. For the annual Engineering Open House, I was involved in running a collegiate robotics competition that would bring in students from Illinois as well as from colleges around the country to compete with their robots during EOH. We planned and strategized all year, but we could not put the playing field together until the night before EOH.
“We’d be allowed into the gym after Uni High classes ended around 5 p.m. and we’d get started. We’d work all night setting up the playing field — which took up half of the gym and had moving parts, controls and walls, troubleshooting the layout and hoping it would fit, as well as running wiring, setting up lighting and sound, checking in teams, and establishing a control center.
“It was amazing to see a group of students come together for one night to set up this arena so that college students could test their creations the next day and elementary school kids could watch and get excited about engineering.
“At 8 a.m., we’d be finishing up and contestants and spectators would start rolling in. For Friday and Saturday, the gym was a beehive of activity, and on Sunday, it was all put away again. It’s a great tradition and a set of memories I’ll never forget. To me, those activities are a big part of what makes our school unique. The contest still exists today as the Midwestern Robotics Design Competition.”