It happens every fall, without fail: the temperature tumbles, the leaves change colors ... and Elizabeth Pittelkow Kittner has a sudden hankering for a favorite late-night snack from yesteryear.
“I took five fall semesters and three spring semesters of classes, so when the weather turns cool and the leaves turn orange, I more strongly reflect upon my University days. I still remember the smells of clean laundry from the Six Pack dormitories when I walked through the courtyard and the delicious aroma of warm Pokey Sticks from Gumby’s,” the Gies College of Business grad says from Chicago, where she’s the Head of Finance for the International Legal Technology Association.
“One of my favorite experiences was serving as a resident advisor in Snyder Hall. The University of Illinois is a large school, and Snyder cultivated its own community to create a more family environment for its residents.
“We participated in mystery dinners, created connections during team-building exercises and hall-wide games, and served the school and larger community through Dial-a-Carol, which is a program that has been spreading holiday joy since the 1960s. Call Dial-a-Carol during December finals week: 217-332-1882.
“The resident advisors in Snyder Hall were some of the best people I knew during my experience at the University of Illinois. We genuinely cared about our residents; helped each other grow in leadership skills; played sports — like Wallyball and Broomball — together; and even nursed squirrels back to health. The squirrels were quite friendly, and they especially liked ice cream cones from the cafeteria.
“I served as a resident advisor at Snyder when the Bears played at Memorial Stadium. It was fun to experience the NFL energy while on campus, especially with Snyder so close to the action. My family visited for a game, and we enjoyed the bonding time.
“My brother lived in Snyder his freshman year when I was a resident advisor in the building, which made the dormitory living experience even richer.
"We took a class together and consistently met at Murphy’s beforehand to eat and study. Snyder residents already felt like family to me, so to have my brother live there during my senior year was even more special.
“I reflect fondly upon my days at the University of Illinois and am so proud to be an alum.”