Her three big sisters were all alumnae, so there was never really much doubt where Julie Suderman would go to college.
“I was able to visit my older sister, Sara, at the University of Illinois during my junior year of high school. I remember touring the campus with her and taking pictures with her in front of the Illini Union. I envisioned myself one day joining the others studying, playing and relaxing on the Quad,” says the Big Ten Conference’s chief financial officer (BS ’95, accountancy).
“I enrolled in the College of Business two years later and was anxious to make a mark of my own.
“I had a blast exploring so many parts of campus, but the Quad seemed to be the central point of so many of my memories. One of my favorite pastimes was rollerblading around campus. Hitting the Quad was always a highlight as I was sure to run into someone I knew.
“I took many catnaps at the Union or on the lawn of the Quad between classes. I did not have a cell phone back then to set an alarm, but I mastered the art of getting up just in time to get to my next class. I attended concerts and performed in the Atius-Sachem Moms Day Sing at Foellinger Auditorium.
“There were large lectures in Lincoln Hall that surely I would find a friend to take notes for me if I missed class because I got too comfortable while relaxing on the lawn outside. There was no better way to spend a sunny, lazy afternoon than playing catch or just hanging out with friends on the Quad.
“Even after graduation, Champaign-Urbana marked special moments in my life. My husband, Verlyn, proposed to me on campus. We continue to come back with our three children to cheer on the Illini during football weekends. Almost each trip is marked with a picture in front of the Alma Mater.
“With three other sisters having attended the University of Illinois, we share many of its traditions and all are proud to have graduated from such a fine institution.”