Time of year
FiveD M wrote a review Feb 2020
Chicago, Illinois25 contributions1 helpful vote
If your a graduate of this university it is a must to get a photo with this iconic statue. However, if you are planning to do this do it early because there will be lots of others that have the same thing in mind.
Date of experience: June 2019
timfl2016 wrote a review Dec 2019
Urbana, Illinois182 contributions42 helpful votes
As THE symbol of the University of Illinois, the statue attracts a lot of visitors, especially during graduation week. If you are visiting, especially staying at the Illini Union, don't forget to step out and visit the statue.
Date of experience: November 2019
jas0719 wrote a review Nov 2019
Tuscaloosa, Alabama614 contributions80 helpful votes
We are alum and always enjoy taking photos in front of Alma Mater. We swapped picture taking with another former student who was visiting. Illini Nation!
Date of experience: November 2019
Taylor B wrote a review Aug 2019
Chicago, Illinois6,401 contributions5,219 helpful votes
The Class of 2013 at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign didn't know what to do. Historically and traditionally, members of the graduating class would take photographs at the southeast corner of South Wright Street and Green Street in the heart of Campustown with a backdrop of the 13-foot-tall, 10,000-pound Alma Mater statue. But Alma Mater was missing in 2013, having been removed from its site for restoration. It was returned in the spring of 2014. A bronze statue by famed sculptor and 1879 Illinois graduate Lorado Taft, it was installed in 1929 and quickly became a beloved symbol of the university. It depicts a mother-figure wearing academic robes and flanked by two attendant figures representing "Learning" and "Labor," after the university's motto. Taft envisioned a sculpture that students could climb on and, indeed, climbing on the statue and sitting on the throne have become campus traditions. For 33 years, the statue was located on the south campus behind Foellinger Auditorium. But the Illinois Alumni Association moved Alma Mater to its current location near Altgeld Hall in 1962. Taft, whose father was the first geology professor at the university. lived for many years in Champaign at 601 East John Street, less than two blocks from Alma Mater.…
Date of experience: August 2019
Allen21096 wrote a review May 2019
Chicago, Illinois30,366 contributions1,249 helpful votes
Being a graduate of the University of Illinois - Chicago Circle way back when, I was skeptical when I heard about the Alma Mater tradition from my son who was graduating with an M.B.A. at the University of Illinois - Champaign. However, once you learn of it, you can appreciate it a lot. The Alma Mater was originally conceived by Lorado Taft between 1879 and 1883, after Taft had graduated from the University of Illinois in 1879. However, it took until 1922 for the first plaster cast to be presented to the school at that year's convocation and on 11 June 1929, the statue was dedicated, but it was behind Foellinger Auditorium. In 1962, Alma Mater was moved to its present location and from August 2012 through April 2014, Alma Mater was restored to its original condition. Alma Mater, along with the attendant male & female figures stands 13 feet tall overlooking Alma Mater Plaza at the southeast corner of Green St. and S. Wright St. The three inscriptions on the base are: front: "ALMA MATER / To thy happy children / of the future / those of the past / send greetings"; left (Green St side): "Given to the University / by the sculptor / the alumni fund / and the senior classes of / 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929."; and the right (Altgeld side): "Her children arise up and call her Blessed" Proverbs 31:28. Now, besides its normal presence, at various times, the statue has been dressed and adorned for events, including graduations. When we were there, Alma Mater was adorned in graduation robes in honor of the Class of 2019.…
Date of experience: May 2019