If it’s a happy memory about Ruth Spiro’s college years, odds are it involves a favorite former Illini Tower hangout in some form.
“Many spots come to mind when I think about my undergraduate years, but I keep coming back to the fourth-floor lounge at Illini Tower. Why? Because that’s where I made my first new college friends, some of whom I’m still close with to this day,” says the Chicago-based children book’s author (BS ’86, advertising).
“We gathered in the lounge before heading downstairs to share meals, watched soap operas between classes and built connections independent of our hometowns, majors, fraternities and sororities.
“While I appreciate the education I received at UIUC, my most cherished memories are of the relationships that we formed there. A network of friends and business colleagues that began before the Internet and LinkedIn; today these are useful tools, but back then we didn’t need them to stay in contact.
“My network began at Illini Tower and grew to include sorority sisters, College of Communication classmates and many others I met along the way.
“The University of Illinois campus is a beautiful place, rich with history and tradition. But it’s so much more than just the buildings, books and bars — it’s the people I met that make it truly memorable.
“I’m grateful that both of my daughters have chosen to be Illini as well, and I hope they have — and will — enjoy a similar experience.”