A piece of advice, from one proud alum to future generations of UI students: Gorge on sweets like those served at Krannert Center’s Intermezzo Cafe while you still can.
“I was a music student at the University of Illinois in the ’80s and a friend of mine from high school who’d been there a year was showing me around the music school," Chuck Pelletier says. "We walked into Krannert Center, whose wood floors and pristine design blew my non-Big Ten sensibilities, but what my eyes finally lit on was much more profound than that.
“The recital hall was perfect, the main theaters grand, but they all paled in comparison to the big draw: the Intermezzo dessert shop. I remember in particular one fluffy white iced cake, which I promptly bought and devoured, the first of many I would stop and wolf down over the years. But you never forget your first.
“Years later, I would sit in a seat at the John Golden Theatre in New York City and watch ‘Avenue Q,’ and the song ‘I Wish I Could Go Back to College’ would bring up the image of that first Intermezzo dessert. With age comes wisdom and doctors telling you your cholesterol is high, your metabolism is low, your blood pressure is borderline, and it would be best if you could work toward subsisting on alfalfa and bean spouts. It made me wish I’d gone to Intermezzo more when I had the chance.
“So to all the current students ambling the greens of the University of Illinois: important is the knowledge you will gain from these years, important are the friendships you will embrace forever, but most important are the desserts with the fluffy-white icing.”