She never could quite remember the exact address. But Susan Johnson won't soon forget the feeling she had as she approached that old house near the corner of First and Chalmers.
“It had been a rooming house since the 1940s where my parents lived as students when they returned from World War II — yes, my mother served as a Marine — and came to the UI on the GI Bill," says Johnson, now a professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado at Denver.
"We would purposely walk past it each time they visited me when I was at the UI myself, working on my Ph.D. in nutrition sciences. They told me of sharing the basement with another couple, newly married just like them, and being thrilled to be getting an education.
“For me, that house symbolized the tremendous impact that the UI can have on families across multiple generations. If my parents had not been able to go to the UI and live at Mrs. Pete’s house, I’m pretty certain I not would have gone there and I’m reasonably sure I would not have become an academic myself.
"It was a pretty unassuming house that is now gone, but it produced very lasting effects.”