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Riley Kerestes

Riley Kerestes

Technical group manager | Caterpillar of Germany | Class of 2004

What Riley Kerestes’ first apartment may have lacked in amenities, it more than made up for in aroma. 

As a UI sophomore, the future Caterpillar technical group manager lived on Healey Street — “by Scott Park, right in between Green Street and Springfield Avenue. The apartment was very small and it was a very long trek out to the Engineering Campus for most of my classes, but it was fairly inexpensive. 

“One of the things that I remember the most about that first apartment was that it was directly behind the old Papa Del’s Pizza location on Green Street. You could go there in the afternoon and buy the pizza by the slice for half price before it sold out for the day and my roommates and I did that far, far too often.

"I have been fortunate enough to travel to a lot of places in the world and sample a lot of different cultural food. I can still say, without a doubt, that Papa Del’s pizza is the best pizza in the entire world — even better than in Italy. I have lots of wonderful memories from my time at the U of I and they all seemed to go even better while sitting down with Campustown’s best pizza. 

“Memories like watching an Illinois football or basketball game during some of our best years, playing video games and partying with friends, and meeting my Dad — who worked for the U of I for over 25 years — for lunch on campus still resonate with me today.

"Having a Papa Del’s pizza whenever I am back in Champaign always brings back feelings of happiness and a fond recollection over the great time I had while attending the University of Illinois.”