This long-distance Illini memory is dedicated to the legacy of the late, great James Peters — Jason Colwell’s no-doubt-about-it pick for most influential professor.
“He was the reason why I pursued my research path in internal combustion engines and ultimately why I stayed at UIUC for graduate school,” Colwell, a two-degrees mechanical engineering grad, says from Belgium, where he’s the managing director of The Crosby Group’s Europe, Middle East and Africa operations.
“Professor Peters tragically was killed in a car accident on Memorial Day in 2000 as he was driving into the office to finish some work. Because of my research topic, I went on to work at Ford Motor Company for many prosperous years before changing industries, moving back to Illinois and then to Europe.”
Despite living 4,000 miles away from his Paxton hometown, Colwell still keeps tabs on Illini basketball. Like any good Orange Krush alum.
“As a proud Krush member for all six years (BSME ’98, MSME ’00), certainly the place that generated the most memories was the Assembly Hall. To see a scrappy team like the 1998 squad win the Big Ten championship was unforgettable.
“I never missed a game.”