The culture shock Vincent Ling set himself up for in the mid-1980s took some getting used to, going from what he calls “alternate-reality San Francisco" to the “quiet calm of a rural college town.”
But looking back three decades later, Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ senior director of materials and innovation remembers mostly “sweet times.”
“I made many friends quickly through Hessel Park Church, and it became a second hangout outside of academic research,” Ling (Ph.D. '90, plant biology) says from Boston.
“I tried my hand at planting a small vegetable garden in the university plots, and held it together until it was over run by a forest of weeds from surrounding plots started by and then later abandoned by well-intentioned neophyte gardeners.
“The most entertaining activity that I discovered was ballroom dancing, with lessons offered at the Y and subsequent Friday practice sessions in the gym, culminating in a ballroom dance formal held at the Illini Union.”