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DeVaris Brown

DeVaris Brown

CEO | Floodgate Academy, Oakland | Class of 2006

Before the $80 million computer science shrine that is the Siebel Center, there was the Digital Computer Laboratory.

“It felt like dungeon,” says DeVaris Brown (’06), CEO of Oakland’s Floodgate Academy, whose Illini experience included stretches in both buildings.

“When the Siebel Center opened,” he says, “it was so open and inspiring. You would hear conversations in the halls and felt compelled to contribute. Everyone’s area of interest was on display and as an undergrad it felt like I was contributing to the future. No resource was off-limits and you had some of brightest folks working on coolest projects.”

For a good time away from the computer labs, Brown’s “go-to fine dining spot” was Timpone’s. “If you really wanted to impress your girlfriend, they had a great menu and great ambiance. Also, if you timed it properly, you could catch a show at the Canopy Club afterwards.”