When it came to scouting out the night life scene and knowing the coziest spots on the Quad, Richard Bobowski got a head start on the rest of the UI Class of ’83.
“Having grown up in Champaign, the campus — and its bars — became familiar as early as high school,” says the Dallas attorney, who graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in psychology before attending law school at SMU.
“With my senior year at Central High School, my primary goal was to secure that letter of acceptance to the U of I. From the start, I relished having classes scattered among the many familiar buildings, although, as an LAS major, they were somewhat ‘Quad-centric.’
“I never tired of reading and relaxing on the Quad or, when the weather did not cooperate, finding a comfortable spot in the Illini Union or one of the libraries, with the reading room in the Main Library being my favorite.
“The Quad always provided an eclectic venue for experiencing ‘college life.’ Frisbee and hackey-sack, the ‘Disco Queen’ and other preachers decrying our sins, Hash Wednesday’s passive protest, the candlelight vigil the evening after John Lennon was killed ... so many vivid memories — from new student week through the sometimes brutal winters.
“By the time graduation arrived, none of my pride and respect for the University had waned. I recall taking numerous photographs of the campus buildings I admired and locations I had enjoyed over the four years as a student.
“I had the same feeling about 36 years later when I returned to C-U for a high school reunion at Kam’s and snapped a shot of Altgeld in the background of the refurbished — and no longer green — Alma Mater.
“I do lament the modern — and sometimes odd — architecture springing up off of Green Street and elsewhere, but it is still my school and I will always be a proud ILLINI.”