It’s not so much the physical places that Gary Brierley remembers about his time on campus.
“My time at U of I will always be remembered by the people with whom I interacted. I was at the U of I from 1968 to 1970 and again from 1972 to 1975 and during those times, both my fellow students and our professors were some of the best in the world," says the president of a Denver-based engineering and construction company.
"Almost all of my fellow students have gone on to distinguished careers, and our professors were literally among the most renowned at any university in the world.
“I looked forward to going to class every day and I also had the opportunity to work on the WMATA project for my Ph.D. thesis, which was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. For me, Illinois was not a place; it was an enormous opportunity.
“I am 71 and someone asked me recently when I intended to retire so that I could do what I want. I said based on that definition, I have been retired for 45 years. Illinois has a huge place in my heart but it was more like playing in the Super Bowl when you really don’t care which stadium.”