Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Alumni and friends share memories at "Back to School for 40 Years Party"

The University of Illinois Springfield Alumni SAGE Society hosted a “Back to School for 40 Years Party” for alumni, community members, students, faculty and staff on August 27, 2010.

“We wanted to have a special celebration to mark the 40th start of classes at UIS and it’s been a great experience,” said Mary Caroline Mitchell, associate director of the UIS Office of Alumni Relations.

Approximately 175 people showed up for the party at the Island Bay Yacht Club on Lake Springfield, which featured music, food and memories.

“You can’t help but be proud of (the university), but you also can’t help but say 40 years really. I can’t believe it,” said Phil Bradley, an early graduate of Sangamon State University.

Bradley was one of the student speakers at the first SSU commencement ceremony in 1972. He can’t believe how the universities academic stature has grown over the years.

“If you look at state government, if you look at Washington there are people in very important positions with degrees from this place,” he said.

Other guests included Wally Henderson, the architect of the Public Affairs Center and community supporter, who helped get SSU off the ground.

“I feel very responsible for this thing. I’m very proud of it, very, very proud of it,” said Henderson.

The 40-year celebration included a variety of historic displays and pictures, video and a trivia quiz with prizes.

“It was a nice opportunity to see some of the faculty. People that I know in the community, who have been tied to the university for many years,” said Crystal VanDeventer, a 1985 graduate of the Public Administration master’s program.

For a list of additional anniversary events visit the 40 Year website

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