An Illini love story, Allerton Park edition ...
“I have a lot of favorite spots in Campustown, and a lot of great memories, but my absolute favorite place on campus is actually off campus," says NASA structural engineer and 2011 grad Doug Litteken.
"The Allerton Park Mansion has become a one-of-a-kind place for me. I first visited it during winter break of my junior year, at the beginning of 2010. I was participating in an annual retreat known as Leadershape, where myself and 30 of the university’s top student leaders were locked in for a week of stories, lessons, insights, emotions and self-awareness.
"It was inspiring, beautiful and the absolute best thing I ever did in college. The personal growth that I experienced during that week was unlike anything else and it instantly changed me forever. The program itself was phenomenal, but back-dropped by the charm of Allerton Mansion, covered in a new fallen snow, made it magnificent.
“Now that might sound like an experience that couldn’t get any better, but it did.
"During that week, I met an intelligent, strong, beautiful and amazing woman. Five years after we met at Leadershape, we got married and invited our closest friends and family to celebrate with us at Allerton Mansion.
"It was another beautiful and amazing experience at one of UI’s best locations, and our favorite spot.”