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Variety of photo opportunities for graduating U. of I. students announced

5/8/2013 | Mike Helenthal, News Editor | 217-333-5491;

[ Email | Share ] CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Graduating University of Illinois students will have plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with the Alma Mater sculpture – even though it sits halfway across the state in a conservatory, undergoing extensive restoration.

For one, students at the School of Art and Design are creating plaster replicas of Alma that will appear at some of the more heavily traveled areas on campus over Commencement weekend.

The 6-foot-tall statues will be located at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center (601 S. Lincoln Ave., Urbana), the School of Art and Design (408 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign), Assembly Hall (1800 S. First St., Champaign), as well as on the Quad and on the north campus.

Students will be encouraged to use the statues for photo opportunities.

In the meantime, decorative flourishes will be added across campus for anyone looking for a photo background alternative to Alma.

Foellinger Auditorium (at the south end of the Quad) will display bunting that features school colors, and the Hallene Gateway (at the southwest corner of Lincoln Avenue and Illinois Street, Urbana) will have special landscaping.

Other activities that will serve as a “sit-in” service for the missing Alma:

• At the Illini Union (1401 W. Green St., Urbana), a photo booth with a special backdrop will give graduating students a chance to snap photos with a “virtual” Alma on Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• The Alumni Association will host a graduation festival on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. that will feature a “green screen” Alma background.

• Members of the 1867 Society will stroll campus Saturday and Sunday wearing Alma, Labor and Learning costumes and will be available to pose for pictures with graduates.

• Upon Alma’s return, cap and gown supplier Herff Jones is planning to supply robes from each college and unit for those who would like to return for a special individual Alma photo. Times and dates will be announced later.

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