An Illini love story, Sigma Alpha Epsilon edition ...
“The University has so many memories for me — pre-college (I grew up nearby), during college and after college, since I have both taught in the School of Architecture and have provided architectural services for many campus building projects,” says two-degree UI grad Chuck Reifsteck (BS ’80, MS ’82).
“But the one spot that I think about most, is the living room of my fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, where I met my future wife, Lisa Courtney.
“We didn’t like each other much at first, but we kept running into one another around campus over the next couple years — and decided we just couldn’t live without each other.”
As for choosing the single-most impactful professor during his six-year stretch as a student, the principal of Champaign’s Reifsteck Reid & Company Architects says it's a four-way tie for first — between Jack Replinger, Bruce Hutchings, Vic Regnier and adjunct professor Jack Hackler, who headed up the graduate level architectural design studio focused on Housing Environments in those days.
“Those four introduced real-world problem solving in the design studio and each had specific expertise to share,” he says.
“As an architecture student, one spends most of their waking, and sometimes sleeping, hours in the studio — this one, on the fourth floor of the old Architecture Building, had lights burning throughout most nights.
“It was also adjacent to their faculty offices so we’d share coffee in the morning and interact throughout the day. Besides the imparted wisdom, we built personal relationships with them and they would host celebratory gatherings in their homes.
“I stayed in touch with all of them post-graduation. I feel that group led me, and my classmates, to fulfilling careers in architecture.”