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Darnell Leatherwood

Darnell Leatherwood

Founder, Black Boys Shine! | Founding member, My Brother's Keeper Alliance Action Team | Class of 2012

We say University of Illinois, Darnell Leatherwood says ... FAR.

“Like so many others around the world, I bleed orange and blue. The five years I spent completing my undergraduate degree in the College of Business are some of my most memorable experiences to date.

“However, it is not class I remember, even though I never missed class. It is not the office hours or study groups that stand out, either.

“What is most salient to me is the four years I spent in the Florida Avenue Residence Halls, affectionately known as FAR. What holy ground FAR was for me and my friends. We had everything — late night across the street at PAR, tons of programming, CRCE down the street, SOUL food night ... and the list goes on.

“However, my fondest affection for FAR stems from the fact that it is also the place I met the people who would help define not only my undergraduate experience, but also many parts of the rest of my life. To this day, I am still best friends with many of the individuals I met in FAR — in particular, my floor brothers on Oglesby floor 2, or OG2.

“Back then, we laughed together, cried together, partied together, confided in each other and loved one another. The best part is that we still do all that today.

“I am forever grateful for the relationships I was able to cultivate in FAR, the memories I was able to make as both a resident and resident advisor and the love that we shared for one another — a love as pure and true as orange and blue.

“To all those who shared FAR with me, may you forever prosper. To those who currently occupy the space and those to come, go FAR.”