The UI alumni club includes more than a few townies who went on to distinguished careers. Among them: economist, author, professor and director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity Richard Vedder (Ph.D. ’65), whose dad Byron was publisher/GM of the Champaign-Urbana Courier.
“I delivered newspapers in the 1000 block of West California, now part of the campus,” Vedder says. “Paradise came every couple of weeks, when I got to collect for the paper from a customer who to me and nearly everyone on campus was a living God — Dike Eddleman, recently graduated from Illinois.
“Collecting from Dike, ordinarily a hated chore, was exciting.”
Another less pleasant but vivid memory happened in the fall of 1963, as Vedder was pursuing his Ph.D. in economics.
“The afternoon of November 22, I walked into David Kinley Hall to a surreal scene; everyone was in shock — not the usual noise, laughter and bustle found in a classroom building. John F. Kennedy had been assassinated, and I was struck in a very sad way how that event reminded me that despite diverse viewpoints and preferences, everyone was all in one sense united, as Americans, in our grief.”