Long before he was sworn in as a federal judge, deputy attorney general and, for a short stint in 2009, acting U.S. attorney general, Mark Filip (BA ’88) felt most patriotic in the House That Butkus Built.
“There are two places that I always found striking on campus — Memorial Stadium and the Alma Mater statue, for related reasons.
“First, I was always struck by Memorial Stadium, not so much as an athletic facility, but rather, as its name reflects, as a memorial to the many students from U of I who gave their lives in World War I in service of the country. Their names, almost 200 of them, are inscribed on the pillars at the sides of the stadium. It always was very humbling and almost sacred to think of what they gave so we could be able to enjoy all the opportunities that the university had to offer — academic, athletic, extracurricular and on and on depending on your interests.
“The words on the Alma Mater also always stood out — in a more immediately uplifting way: ‘To thy happy children of the future those of the past send greetings.’
“The message reinforced that we were part of a line of people who had the opportunity to attend U of I, and how lucky we were to benefit from the work of those before us. The words also helped remind us to enjoy all the great times and opportunities the school afforded us.
“I really loved my time on campus, and had some wonderful friends and experiences, and I think most of my classmates felt the same way.”