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From the Chancellor

Illinois' 99th Homecoming celebration

Homecoming is a promise I make each year when I welcome our incoming class, the newest members of our Illinois family. "Welcome to the largest alumni family on the planet," I tell them. "Welcome to some of the best years you will ever have in which you will certainly meet the best friends of your life."

The connections those bright, young women and men make from that first nervous day forward will last through their four years on campus and then follow them into their careers, families and beyond. That's what always makes this a special weekend.


Professor Gene Robinson receives NIH Pioneer Award

Gene Robinson, a professor of entomology and neuroscience at the University of Illinois, has been named a recipient of the 2009 National Institutes of Health Pioneer Award.

Robinson's award is $2.5 million in direct costs over five years. The award enables promising young researchers to pursue high-impact, transformative research in the fields of biomedical and behavioral science.

Get more details...


New From Illinois
on the Big Ten Network:
'The Red Grange Story'

image of grange statute outside memorial stadium

This video takes you into alumnus George Lundeen's studio as he turns 2 tons of copper into the 12-foot-tall statue of Illinois football legend Red Grange now on the west side of Memorial Stadium. As the work progresses, the story of Grange’s life – both on and off the field – unfolds.

This half-hour documentary will debut on the Big Ten Network on Thanksgiving Day, but you can see a preview here.

Are you returning to campus for Homecoming this weekend?

Drop by the annual Homecoming post-game party at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center following the Illinois-Michigan State football game, where you will find music, food, a cash bar and a special recognition of the Class of 1959. The Homecoming post-game party is a great place for families and friends to gather. And, those going to the game can park for free at the Alumni Center and ride an MTD bus to and from Memorial Stadium.

Check out all of the Homecoming activities planned by your Alumni Association

Early hominid first walked on two legs
in the woods

image of professor stanley ambroseAmong the many surprises associated with the discovery of the oldest known, nearly complete skeleton of a hominid is the finding that this species took its first steps toward bipedalism not on the open, grassy savanna, as generations of scientists – going back to Charles Darwin – hypothesized, but in a wooded landscape.

Carbon isotope analyses conducted by University of Illinois anthropology professor Stanley Ambrose indicated that Ardipithecus ramidus was a woodland creature whose diet resembled those of modern baboons and chimpanzees. Read the news release

A Minute With™... experts on stocks and the economy

The Dow’s return to 10,000 appears imminent. Will the milestone be truly significant, or largely symbolic?

The stock market's benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average is creeping back toward the 10,000-point level, less than a year after an economic meltdown drove the closely watched index to a six-year low of 7,552. Cheers and party hats greeted the Dow's first rise into five-digit territory a decade ago, but what does it mean this time around? Finance professor David Ikenberry, a stock market expert, and Institute of Government and Public Affairs economist Daniel McMillen discuss the approaching milestone in interviews with News Bureau Business & Law Editor Jan Dennis.

Professor John Rogers wins $500,000 MacArthur Award

image of professor john rogers John Rogers, the Lee J. Flory-Founder Chair in Engineering Innovation and a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois, has been named a 2009 MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Rogers is among 24 fellows who will each receive $500,000 in "no strings attached" support over the next five years.

Read about Rogers work on stretchable semiconductor wafers and other potentially revolutionary materials

An icon of the American Midwest: Main Street hotels

image of professor john jakle In discussions of the recent economic downturn by politicians, journalists and their followers, it’s been next to impossible to dodge the phrase "Wall Street versus Main Street."

Cliché though it may be by now, the phrase is effective in part because of the instant images both locales evoke. But when John Jakle, a professor emeritus of geography and of landscape architecture at the University of Illinois, references Main Street, it's impossible for him to see past the one icon still standing in many a downtown across America: the landmark hotel.

What's become of Main Street hotels?

Student video series "Elbow Grease"
looks at dirty jobs on campus

Karis Morrall, a senior in broadcast journalism, is writing, editing, and producing her own programs for the campus cable TV channel, UI-7. Her latest project is a series called "Elbow Grease" that looks at the "dirty jobs" that keep the University of Illinois up and running for the tens of thousands of students and faculty members who work, study, and research here. Recent episodes have included Morrall pitching in to re-roof Foellinger Auditorium, clean up Veterinary Medicine’s Small Animal Clinic, and sort trash at the Waste Transfer Station.

Read the story and watch an episode (or 2)


Produced by Public Affairs for the Office of the Chancellor
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.