Michael Strautmanis' favorite pastime at the UI: playing basket-brawl at the Illini Grove.
“There was a hoop there that was about 8-foot high,” says the vice president of the Barack Obama Foundation (BS '91, JD '94). “My buddies and I would play games there in which the only way you could score is on a dunk.”
Fitting for a campus in the rough-and-tumble Big Ten, “we really beat each other up, and it is one of the best memories of my life,” he says, quick to add that it runs a distant second behind campus memory No. 1: meeting his future wife on the dance floor at the Illini Union in February 1988.