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Larry Samuelson

Larry Samuelson

Professor of economics | Yale University | Class of 1974

Once upon a time, in a world before smartphones and social media, students signed up for classes by waiting in lines.

Long lines.

Take it from now-Yale economics professor Larry Samuelson, who earned three economics degrees from the UI — “all long ago, leaving me with fond memories of standing in endless registration lines in the Armory hoping that there would be spot open in a discussion section at just the right time, or lines just as long at the bookstore hoping they still had the text you needed, or lines at the computer center hoping you would not discover the next morning that your stack of punch cards contained some trivial mistake, forcing you to start all over.

“These technologies have all changed, but one hopes sense of excitement they helped foster has not waned.

“My biggest source of inspiration at the U of I was the realization that the quest for learning went on around the clock. The computer center bore a sign on its front door proclaiming ‘this door must never be locked.’

“People studied in the vending room at the Union throughout the night. Perhaps the rumors were exaggerated that some students lived in their cage-like carrels in the stacks of the library, but these carrels were in constant enough use that it was difficult to be sure.

“This atmosphere sustained during my stays at the U of I, and has stayed with me ever since.”