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The Class of 2020: Part 1

Sharing some of your favorite moments and memories.


The goal is to do this in three parts.

Hopefully we get more than that. That’s where you can help. If you are — or know — any seniors at the University of Illinois who have had their senior year cut short, send their stories our way. We want to share as many of them as possible, because all of you deserve your moment in the sun.

Let’s start with this one.

It’s @tuggnuttt’s last Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day.

We can’t share videos for some reason here, but here’s three photos taking you through the two-second video. You can guess what happens with the beer.

Here’s another video we were sent. (Boy, I wish I knew that before I asked for videos. Tweet the videos if you’re going to send them! We can embed tweets!)

This is what Liam Kerrigan told us.

“Although it was cut short, I’ll always remember my time working for the athletic department. There were a ton of amazing moments this year, especially during basketball season, but the Wisconsin game is the most memorable to me.”

Here’s his view for that moment against the Badgers.

Matt had good memories at Illinois, too.

“Jim Cornelison of the Blackhawks sang the National Anthem for a fraternity hockey game in front of 500-700 people. 2 years in a row.”

Now you can get hyped for that moment inside the Illinois Ice Arena, as well.

But what’s better than meeting Jim? Having these memories with your friends and brothers.

Here’s the story of three seniors in Block I.

“Sadie, Mary and Alex, three seniors who have cared for and shaped Block I. We met sophomore year because of Block I and became best friends. We care so deeply about Illinois, and especially Illinois football. We put “Rush the Field” on our bucket list because we believed. We went to 11 of the team’s 13 games this season, including the bowl game. The Wisconsin game was a special day for us. We’re disappointed we won’t get our last walk in Memorial Stadium but we have great memories in there and with each other.”

Is there anything better than getting to go to those sporting events in college? Even better when they win.

But those best moments don’t have to come during senior year.

It can be junior year.

“This will forever be the highlight of my time at UIUC,” Bryce Leigh said. “

The football and basketball teams ending their post season droughts this year was also amazing but nothing will top storming the court.”

Let’s do one more this time. (We’ll do this at least one more time, we promise. But we’d love to do it 20 more times.)

This one is from Sal.

“At the University of Illinois I have learned of the many more different paths I can take to help my community. I was taken into Dr. Marshall-Colón’s lab which changed my life in what I wanted to do and I learned so much after I got assigned my own independent research project. Attending UIUC opened many doors for me, and I met many brilliant professors that helped shaped me into the person I am. It was also thanks to my family I was able to reach new heights. Thank you to the University of Illinois for everything it offered me and for the best experiences of my life. Once an Illini, always an Illini”

That’s the best thing about college. We’re a sports blog, but it’s not always about the sports.

It’s about the people. The memories. The experiences. The knowledge.

And, unfortunately, the Class of 2020 won’t get those final moments.

Hopefully reading these stories makes you feel like you’re not alone, and you’ll always be Illini.

Send us some more. We’d love to keep sharing your stories over the next two months. You can find us on Twitter @Champaign_Room or on Facebook at The Champaign Room.