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Matt Kolb

Matt Kolb

​Executive VP, chief operating officer | Carle Health

Legend has it that those who lock lips in a certain spot on the Quad will go on to enjoy a lifetime of eternal bliss.

For proof, look no further than Matt Kolb’s ring finger.

“As is tradition,” says Carle Health’s chief operating officer and executive VP, “I kissed my girlfriend at the Eternal Flame on the Quad; it may work because a few years later we celebrated our wedding reception at the Illini Union and have been happily married since.”​

The son of a 30-plus-year crop sciences professor and alum of Unit 4’s Robeson Elementary, Jefferson Middle and Centennial High schools, Kolb knew the lay of the UI land long before enrolling as an undergrad.​

But it wasn’t until he arrived as a student that he got to experience a few of his favorite memories:​

— A class: “Comparative Politics with Dr. Bill Bernhard. A couple years ago, Dr. Bernhard and I had a chance to work together during the formation of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. I tracked down my transcript just to check my grade. Fortunately, it was an A-minus, which Dr. Bernhard said was ‘pretty good’ for that class.”

— A job: “In addition to school, I worked for four years in Dining Services administration. I was a graphic designer, mail runner and general office help. As college jobs go, it paid pretty well and I could grab a free meal after most shifts, which was an amazing perk at that time.”

— ​A season: “We had some solid football and basketball seasons during my time at Illinois, including my senior year (2002) when the Bears played their home games in Champaign while Soldier Field was renovated.”​

“It’s been fun to maintain some connections to the University of Illinois, which has been such a big part of my life growing up in Champaign, as a proud graduate, and now, since returning to Champaign, as a repeat townie,” Kolb says. ​

“In recent years, I’ve been able to serve as an adjunct lecturer as well, which really brings it all full circle. Illinois is a pretty special place to me.”​