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Lynne Thieme

Lynne Thieme

Software engineer | Trustee, Delta Gamma Foundation | Class of 1982

Once a Delta Gamma, always a Delta Gamma.

That’s how Lynne Thieme views the sorority she joined in the late ’70s as a student and still represents to this day, as a proud Delta Gamma Foundation board member.

“My campus memories revolve around the women I am still honored to call my sisters and the house at 1207 West Nevada Street in Urbana with the big anchor out front,” Thieme (BS ’82, computer science/math) says from the Bay Area.

“The anchor is the international symbol of hope and hope is what carried me through my days at Illinois and still drives me today. Hope is not a wish that things will change for the better but an actual belief that our future will be brighter.

“I was the only Delta Gamma engineering major during my years at Illinois and so I was always assigned the tasks that required ‘engineering’ skills — like determining the fairest algorithm to assign parking spots or wiring the stereo system.

“During my senior year, we had a huge ice storm on campus that lasted nearly a week, coating everything in a thick layer of ice, including the transmissions on several of our cars. Borrowing a blow torch from one of the labs, several of us crawled under the cars and melted the ice off the transmissions to get them moving again.

“One of my favorite places in our house was the sleeping porch. It was a long, narrow room in the attic filled with bunk beds that was always kept dark and quiet, no matter the time of day or night. Fire code required that a window be cracked at all times and since I slept in the bottom bunk nearest the window, I often woke on winter mornings with a dusting of snow on my blanket.

“There was always a sister assigned for ‘wake-up duty’ who would go in and quietly wake you at your requested time so as not to disturb others with noisy alarms.

“During my senior year, several of my sisters and I wallpapered the ceiling of our downstairs ‘day room’ with my job offers and made a game of tossing darts at random to choose which offer I would accept and to where I would eventually move. It did not end up being a random choice, though, as there was really no question that I would move to northern California and use my Illinois computer science degree to pioneer innovative technology and advocate for women and underrepresented minorities in tech.

“Throughout my tech career, I continued to remain anchored to Delta Gamma, volunteering where needed. Today, I sit on the Delta Gamma Foundation board of trustees and dedicate my time to bringing hope in support of our mission, Service for Sight and women’s leadership.”