For Margaret Oakes, there was no place like the multi-purpose basement of the Illini Union.
“While I spent a lot of time in campus bars — cough, Kam’s, cough — some of my favorite times were spent in another room full of people: the Union cafeteria downstairs,” says the Furman English professor, who earned her bachelor’s (1982) and JD (1985) from the UI.
“Centrally located, cozy, with a popcorn machine and the best apple pie ever — what more could you want?
“Fortified with Tab, I studied a lot, napped a little and chatted with the many friends who circulated in and out. Later in my college career, I became heavily involved in Star Course and SGA, so I was often in the Union most of the day and evening and the cafeteria became even more necessary.
“While the cafeteria is long gone, I certainly hope that in the upcoming renovation of the Union they keep the beautiful and functional cork entry floors and comfortable chairs in the lounges.
"It was really a home away from home.”