The Illini Union was founded on February 8th, 1941. This bustling building occupies the heart of the Main Quad and is an interactive resource to U of I students, faculty, and the community. It's a place to grab lunch, a quiet study spot, or a meeting place for student organizations; the Union is a staple in the U of I community. 

To reflect on this celebration, here are some fun facts about the historical building. 

  • From 1919 to 1921, the main floor of the YMCA (now the Illini Hall) was the Illini Union headquarters
  • Construction plans began in 1939 by architects Howard Lovewell and John Calvin Leavell
  • The building was designed in the shape of an "I" to honor the university
  • The cupola was chosen as the building's focal point due to the Colonial Williamsburg-inspired decor
  • Eleanor Roosevelt dedicated the building in 1942
  • An addition was built in 1963 to accommodate the additional services offered to the growing enrollment

Photo from Illini Union website