The son of a UI research scientist who moved his family here in 2000, Tom Sun didn’t need a map of campus to know what was where when he enrolled here.
"If you blindfold me," says the Twitter software engineer, "I can probably tell you where I am based on the smell and sound around me.
“I’m living now in Silicon Valley, but I visit Urbana at least twice a year to see parents and my alma mater. You’d think having been living in the Campustown for so many years, my favorite spot would be a hard to find peculiar spot unknown to most, but it’s really just the Illini Union.
"The Illini Union is the center of everything, and the division of the nerdy engineering side and the more fun business and LAS side. You see students of every personality and major there, and it’s one place with a quiet study area like the presidential lounge, and the lively courtyard, and the fun basement where it use to have bowling and pool.
"There are also so many comfortable couches around for you to slouch or hibernate. My friends and I used to hang out there all the time — to study, to relax, to have fun, to eat and to get to know cute girls from the business side.
"No other place makes me excited, relaxed, and happy — absolutely worry-free — like the Illini Union.”