By the time you read this issue of Postmarks, we’ll be nearing the middle of the fall semester here at Illinois. This year’s 7,565
new freshmen marked the second largest incoming class in our history, and they were joined by nearly 1,400 new transfer students. Altogether, our undergraduates represent every state in the nation and 84 countries from around the world.
I recently read a 1935 quote from Fred Turner, who was a legendary dean of students on this campus:
“Why do [our students] come to us from so far away? We have no chain of lakes as at Madison and Ithaca, no river, no mountains
and it is hot here. And yet they come in increasing thousands! But what we do have is a faculty great in learning and enthusiasm,
a library that is a marvel, a thoroughly democratic spirit and standards so rigorous that a degree from the University of Illinois
means something. In short, they come to work.”
He wrote these words more than 80 years ago. But if he were standing here today, I am certain he would say them all again and with every bit the same conviction.
As you read this magazine, I think you’ll agree that our students still come here to work and they still come here with the highest expectations of the faculty and the staff they will meet. From the story illustrating the generosity of our Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) students to the experiences of some of our undergraduates working with one of the top materials engineers in the world to a look at some of our students’ explorations into real-world cancer research, I hope you’re impressed with the character and the quality of students who choose Illinois.
We know every single student who joins us at Illinois had choices about where to go to college. And our faculty and staff here
understand our collective responsibility to make sure we deliver the transformative opportunities our students are seeking.
Whether you have children enrolled here today or if you are among those with a son or daughter considering Illinois for next year,
please enjoy this issue of Postmarks and this window into the Illinois experience.
And please believe me when I tell you that as much fun as it is to read these stories, it’s even more exciting for those of us here at
Illinois who have the privilege of working with our talented students.
Barbara J. Wilson