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Nicole White

Nicole White

Public affairs chief | U.S. Air Force | Class of 2009

“Many people remember the Armory as the weird building where the layout of each floor confused you every time you entered," says Hawaii-based Air Force public affairs chief Nicole White ('09). "But for me, it was like a second home.

“I was a cadet in the Air Force ROTC Detachment 190. Myself and each of my peers spent countless hours there studying for our regular classes and military classes, prepping for next formation and physical training.

"The history of the building itself also captivated me. Not a lot of people know that it’s one of the oldest buildings still standing on the original campus. The U of I was one of the first institutions to host an ROTC unit from every branch — more than 2,000 cadets resided in that facility during World War I.

"Being an active duty officer today, we are constantly reflecting on those that served before us but I guess I got my military pride earlier at the U of I. I’m the first in my family out of 62 to become an officer and I can’t think of any better place to have earned my commission into the best Air Force the world has ever seen.”