University Of Illinois Launches 15-Month Sesquicentennial Celebraton

February 28, 2017

150 years ago, on February 28, 1867, the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation creating the Illinois Industrial University, or as we now know it, the University of Illinois. 

The university is celebrating the anniversary of that event on Tuesday, as it launches Sesquicentennial events that will go on for more than a year.

The celebrating begins at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the U of I’s Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana.

The Center’s 2,066-seat Foellinger Great Hall has been reserved for a formal ceremony, with music performed by members of the university’s School of Music and the cutting of a crowd-sized birthday cake. A reception with live music will follow in the Krannert lobby.

Other events this spring include a conference on the future of education, hosted by the College of Education, at a date to be announced.

Another event is a presentation comparing U of I student life in the 1860s with student life today. Professor Gregory Behle will share his extensive research on student life in the university’s early days, while Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs Renee Roman will reflect on current-day student experience. The free event is scheduled for Thursday, March 2nd, at 7 PM, at the University Archives, Room  146 of the Main Library,  1408 W. Gregory.

The March 15th meeting of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees will commemorate the very first Board of Trustees meeting on March 13th, 1867. The morning meeting at the Foellinger Auditorium on the university’s Urbana-Champaign campus will be followed by an afternoon of events throughout the campus.

Several historical presentations will be held about university history at museums in the three cities that are home to U of I campuses. Those events include an exhibit on the university opening April 10th at the Champaign County Historical Museum in Champaign, a Board of Trustees dinner and reception on May 10th at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield and three days of presentations about genomics, May 18-20 at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

The Department of Mathematics will hold a three-day event November 2-4 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Four Color Theorem devised by U of I mathematicians Kenneth Appel and Wolfgang Haken. Appel and Haken devised a solution to the Four Color Problem, which conjectures that four is the smallest number of colors needed to color the regions of an arbitrary map in such a manner that any two adjacent countries are painted with different colors. The theorem is considered a landmark result in geometry, graph and network theory and computer science.

The sesquicentennial wraps up in May of 1018 --- with commencement exercises that mark the 150th anniversary of the University of Illinois’ first graduating class back in 1868.

Details about other sesquicentennial events at the University of Illinois can be found at a special website, 150.illinois.edu .

Story source: WILL