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Loriene Roy

Loriene Roy

Past president | American Library Association | Class of 1987

Born and raised in a Minnesota town of 700, Loriene Roy had never experienced anything quite like the UI campus before moving here for grad school in January 1983 from Yuma, Ariz.

"The U of I seemed serious to me, full of intelligent people, all working and learning in the middle of corn fields," she says. "And people came there from all over the world — the speakers, the teachers, the students, the performing artists."

The past president of the American Library Association and a longtime faculty member at the University of Texas, Roy came here for her Ph.D. after earning her master's from the University of Arizona.

"I arrived as a new doctoral student but it felt like my first real college experience was at UIUC," she says. "There was a real Quad and brick buildings. And a great library.

"I remember getting  stuck in the tunnel with what seemed to be hundreds of undergraduates during a  tornado warning. I remember when Farm Aid was on campus. I studied in the  library, working on the literature review of my dissertation, but I could  hear the crowd."

Other memories:

— “Hearing a young girl play the fiddle at the Sweetcorn Festival. Didn’t hear her sing. She was Alison Krauss.”

— “Halloween on Green Street. I remember a group dressed as foosball players, complete with long tubes they used to connect their arms.”

— “I had had lots of lunches in a cafeteria on campus — one run by the home ec students. Really good prices and great food, including the pear pie.”

— “Flowers blooming after a long winter: dogwood trees, tulip trees, bulbs.”

— “I could smell the cheese from the Kraft factory."

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