A digital special section of | Subscribe

Jon Corbitt

Jon Corbitt

Former Illini gymnast | Associate director, BD | Class of 1998

A day in the life of an Illini student-athlete, as told by Jon Corbitt (BA '98, MBA '00), named a College Gymnastics Association All-America Scholar-Athlete all four years he competed at the UI:

“A ‘normal’ day would start at 6 or 7 am with early-morning training at Kenney Gym or sometimes the Memorial Stadium strength training facility. More than once, I found myself lifting weights next to all-time greats like Simeon Rice — he lifted a bit more than me — or countless other national champion swimmers, track and field athletes and wrestlers. Those special experiences are simply unique to student-athletes.  

“After those early-morning sessions, I spent most of my time in the Foreign Language Building learning to speak Spanish and German, or popping over to the business campus or Foellinger for economics lectures.  

“Once 2:45 rolled around, it was back to Kenney Gym for pre-training treatment or team meetings, and then our main training until 6:30 or so. Hopefully, we had a chance to grab dinner at the Illini Orange near the Six Pack before it closed, and then it was off to a study spot somewhere. My absolute favorite was Espresso Royale near Kam’s and CO’s. Awesome vibe, and I had more than my share of café mochas there, which probably fueled most of my academic success.”

“But despite all those wonderful experiences, my luckiest and most memorable spot in Champaign was the IMPE pool. It’s where we spent our summers relaxing after long gymnastics training sessions, but most importantly, it’s where I met my future wife, Nora (Weber) Corbitt. She was a five-time All-American high jumper for the orange and blue, and three beautiful daughters and many moons later, she’s been my partner in crime ever since,” says Corbitt, now a New York City-based bilingual global procurement and business operations leader with BD.

“I’ll always have the University of Illinois in my heart, and I could probably write an entire book on how it shaped me as the person I am today. 

“Maybe someday I will.”