He had to think about it a minute but after a quick whirl down memory lane — “through Google Streetview” — Henry Wang arrived at the following conclusion:
“The Illini Union cannot be denied. It was the cornerstone of my college experience,” says the SurveyMonkey growth engineer (BA ’11, communications).
These are a few of his favorite things about the place:
— Hotel with mom. “My earliest memory was doing a tour of campus with my mom starting at the Illini Union and then staying overnight in its hotel. This was the summer before I started school and it was the first time I was awed by the school’s rich history and tradition and was proud to be a part of it.”
— Billiards with buddies. “Cementing my first friendships at the pool hall. We were terrible, but had a blast ragging on each other.”
— Club Quad. “Checking in for organization office hours in the Student Organization Complex and hosting fundraisers on the Quad. I would stop in during lunch or in between classes to spend quality time with friends, while doing something that I found meaningful. I felt very motivated and happy to do so.”
— Election Day 2008. “My first ever election vote was cast in the building.”
— Networking. “During the job fair, I made connections with folks in the tech industry that helped out when I eventually moved out to the San Francisco Bay Area. The university attracted the movers and shakers of the time.”
— Taking shortcuts. “The bus stop was right in front of the building, which meant I would cut through the building for many semesters. I know the building better than the back of my hand.”
“If I could go back and experience it again, I would choose to come back on a chilly evening in the fall and take a brisk walk around the Union and Quad and then grab a Number 8 at Jimmy John’s.
“You know what, I probably will now. Thanks for the inspiration.”