Among the perks of being one of the few, the proud, the James Scholars was an all-access pass to one of the hidden treasures of campus.
For David Eldridge’s money, there’s no spot that beats the famed Stacks.
“Back in the day, access was relatively limited for undergraduate students,” says the Springfield attorney (BS ’95, business administration). “The Stacks had an aura to them — millions of books and not accessible to everyone.
“One way to access the Stacks was to be a James Scholar. So, upon receiving James Scholar status, I immediately ventured to the main library to check out this mysterious place. What I found was a throw-back world of by-gone decades. It was a labyrinth of aisles and stairwells in areas in which the ceilings could be quite low as well as intermittently well lit and dark.
“As crazy as it may sound, it was actually fun to just roam the Stacks — and hope not to get lost. I have many memories of my time at Illinois, but the Stacks remain emblazoned in my mind as a unique oasis within our Alma Mater.”