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Jordan Abdel-Haq

Jordan Abdel-Haq

Mortgage loan oficer, Homeside Financial | Former executive director, Illinois Junior Golf Association | Class of 2009

It hit Jordan Abdel-Haq that college was going to be a little different from what he was used to when he walked into Foellinger Auditorium for Economics 101 — “with a class size that was the about the same as my entire high school of 1,000,” the Mahomet-Seymour grad remembers.

There were the late-night pickup basketball games at CRCE as a freshman, “spending way too much time" at Firehaus as a junior and senior, and waiting outside the Assembly Hall with fellow Orange Krush members in freezing temps throughout his college years. (“Something you can only do at that age. The teams were worth it, though.”)

But what the former executive director of the Illinois Junior Golf Association remembers as vividly as anything about his UI experience was the tailgating.

“In those days, the lot behind the baseball field was open to the public and we would start early, and end up with a huge group of people," says Abdel-Haq, now a mortgage loan officer in Chicagoland. "We always seemed to be situated next to the family of Juice Williams, and they were a blast.

“I think that is where my passion for event management began. I loved coordinating the tailgates and making sure we had all of the essentials, no detail was forgotten and that everyone had a great experience.”