It doesn't draw the crowds that Alma and Abe Lincoln's bust do but the modest bronze tablet tucked between Altgeld Hall and the Henry Administration Building ought to be a must-stop on any campus tour, says one of the UI's most influential alums.
Robert Johnson (Class of '68), who'd go on to become the country's first African-American billionaire, happened upon the gravestone of the UI's first president — John Milton Gregory — on his way to class one day in the fall of 1964.
Fifty-plus years later, he can still recite the words.
"The inscription engraved on a plaque on his headstone reads 'If you seek his monument, look about you,'" says Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television. "As an African-American freshman from Freeport, Illinois, who was the ninth of 10 children and the first among them to go to college, I found this commemorative statement to be both inspiring and motivating."