John Aravosis cn sum up his Illini experience in two words.
Internet. And chocolate.
“Two huge influences in my life,” says the social media strategist, Democratic political consultant, civil rights advocate, blogger, attorney, cable news regular and Class of ’85 member.
Among the Internet pioneer’s claims to fame: His AMERICAblog was the first blog accredited for a press conference in the Obama White House.
And to think: He developed his passion for computers during his time in C-U.
“I remember visiting the campus as a prospective student in 1980, and a friend took me late at night into the bowels of some computer science building,” Aravosis says. “We sat in front of a computer in a dark room and played Dungeons and Dragons virtually with some kid located in South Africa.
“It was my first introduction to the Internet, and I was blown away. And now, my entire career revolves around the Internet.”
As for that other vice of his: “My second favorite memory is buying a ‘brownie-under’ — a brownie topped with ice cream — after every exam; first at a little shop east of the Quad, and then at a large coffeehouse right near Kam’s.
"Chocolate and the Internet inspire me to this day."