For stressed-out students in the 1980s, there was no more perfect place to take a mental fitness break than the central Illinois prairie.
Trust three-diploma grad Joseph Powers on this one.
“My education was north of Green Street on the engineering campus, but my heart was often on the South Farms, having grown up on a corn and soybean farm near Wapella, Illinois,” says the Notre Dame engineering professor, who earned his bachelor’s (1983), master’s (1985) and Ph.D. (1988), all in mechanical engineering and all from the UI.
“When I needed a breath of fresh air, I would either put on my running shoes or hop on my Schwinn and head for the prairie. My favorite spot was a tree at the top of a hillock on Windsor Road, I believe. I have a picture of it in my dining room today.
“When I needed to think hard about decisions of directions for life, I would head to this point, and sit and think. It did a lot of good, and I would return to campus stronger.”