Helene Foellinger. Mannie Jackson. Robert Novak. The former prime minister of Egypt.
Their portraits are all there, for admiring guests and inspired students to see, in the eastern hallway of the Illini Union, Louis Margaglione’s go-to spot on campus.
“Decorated floor to ceiling with the portraits of graduates throughout the past 150 years who have been awarded the Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award, it is an embarrassment of riches,” says Margaglione, senior VP of commercial banking at BMO Harris.
“It was walking down this hall as a 17-year-old that sold me on the University of Illinois. My father, also an Illini, would tell me that the best way to evaluate the quality of education received at a college was simply to look at what their alumni were doing. It was clear that every opportunity in the world was open to someone with a degree from this school,” says Margaglione, the immediate past president of the Urbana campus alumni advisory board.
“As a student, I would make time to walk down this corridor nearly every time I was in the building. I used it as inspiration on those days when I wondered if I was up for the challenge of a professor’s class.
“As an alumnus, I continue to walk the corridor as a reminder that there’s still work left to do. I cannot think of a place on campus that is more uniquely Illini.”