Great moments in 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award winner Jaime Torres’ three years in the UI College of Law:
“On the afternoon of Monday, October 2, 1978, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox were playing a one-game tiebreaker to determine the winner of the American League’s East Division,” Torres writes from Boca Raton, Fla. “Before the game ends, our first-year Civil Procedure class with Professor (Victor) Stone starts in Lecture Hall B.
“In the middle of our lecture, probably noticing that I was not paying attention and was too preoccupied with the game that was being watched in the students’ lounge across Lecture Hall B, Professor Stone stops the lecture and calls on me and says, ‘Jaime please get up and see who won the game.’ I promptly got up, went across the hall, came back and yelled ‘Yankees win!’
“The lecture continued with my full attention and participation. From that date on, I think Professor Stone suspected how important baseball was to me. We would have countless baseball conversations, primarily about his beloved Chicago White Sox, during my three years in Champaign.”
“I had the honor to serve as a member of the College of Law’s Dean’s Advisory Board for about three terms starting in 2002. During one of the visits, either 2002 or 2003, to the Law School in Champaign for those meetings I found Professor Stone in his office and attempted to thank him and let him know what he meant to me.
“As I struggled with words to thank him, he looked to my watery eyes and said, ‘Men can hug.’ I proceeded to give him a big hug."
“After watching the first game of the 2005 World Series, I had to fly back home to Boca Raton because on Monday, October 24, Hurricane Wilma was going to hit South Florida with surprising strength. The storm left my home without power for many days. But I was able to drive all over Palm Beach and Broward counties in search of gasoline to run my generator.
“After the last game, I sat by the pool, lit a Cuban cigar and thought of how happy Professor Stone must have been at that moment. As the attorney/agent for the opening day pitcher, Jose A. Contreras, one of the key members of the team, I like to think that I contributed a little bit to this championship that brought so much joy to a longtime fan like Professor Stone.”