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Margaret Ahrweiler

Margaret Ahrweiler

VP/marketing director | Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. | Class of 1986

The first five stops on Chicagoland insurance executive Margaret Ahrweiler’s spin down memory lane:

1. The parking lot of the main library, “where I parked illegally and unsuccessfully far too many times trying to make it to 8 a.m. journalism labs. In this surrounding, I learned what it meant to beg. I hope my first-born child forgives me for offering to donate her — repeatedly — to the tow truck driver in exchange for leaving my car alone. Thankfully, they turned me down every time. 

“A corollary to this spot is  University Towing, which got to know me on a first-name basis and enjoyed the equivalent of a year’s tuition that I contributed to their profits.”

2. Steak ’n Shake. “For a time, I lived across the street in a now-demolished apartment building on Green Street. As a marketing professional, I’d like to help them create a campaign highlighting the power of their strawberry milkshake to cure a hangover.

3. The Armory building. “In a case of truly arrested development — why grow up? — one of my friends and I played a game we called SWAT Team, making an unauthorized entry, then running through the darkened Armory building late at night and accessing places where we didn’t belong.

"Dear Illini Baseball, sorry if we freaked you out by moving stuff around in your office. The brilliant engineer who accompanied me shall remain nameless.” 

4. Gregory Hall. “Site of the creation of the famed Sewing Circle, five print journalism friends who learned how to hone their natural sarcasm — great preparation for careers in law, politics, corporate communications and for a short time, news. I have only moderate guilt over leading my fellow Sewing Circle members, all far more devoted students than me, into repeated callouts in class for our behavior. More than 30 years later, we still have the friendships — and the notebooks.

5. Barnett’s Liquor Store. “Dear Barnett’s, thank you for selling me those $3.99 cases of longneck Schlitz every week without ever asking for my frankly fake ID.”