Before The Daily Illini, there was The Student, the first University of Illinois student publication. Established in 1871, the publication was renamed in 1874 and became The Illini. In 1907, it finally became The Daily Illini.
In 1880, then-editor Charles Dennis changed the monthly semi-literary journal to a semi-monthly newspaper.
Two years later, faculty took over control of The Illini. University faculty continued to manage the publication until it once again became a student newspaper in 1902.
The Illini upped publishing to five times per week from the previous three. The newspaper expanded from four pages, five columns to eight pages, four columns in 1907. A year later, it expanded to eight pages, five columns.
As University enrollment grew, so did The Daily Illini. In 1934 the newspaper had news, comics, entertainment and features sections.
Illini Hall served as the prime location for The Daily Illini before the paper moved to a building at 57 E. Green St. in 1988.
As of 1997, The Daily Illini is free.
In 2006, the Illini Media Company, The Daily Illini’s publisher, built its own home on Green Street that would serve as the central location for all Illini Media units.
The 2006 construction of this building went on to cause the depletion of Illini Media’s financial savings. The Illini Media Company owed approximately $250,000 to The News-Gazette for printing The Daily Illini.
Though, in 2012, former Daily Illini editor-in-chief and former Chicago Sun-Times film critic, Roger Ebert, helped raise money to stabilize The Daily Illini’s financial standing.
Despite the crisis, The Daily Illini continues to create history.
The Daily Illini staff was awarded first place for “General Excellence” and “Online News Website” on Feb. 18 by the Illinois College Press Association.
Hugh Hefner, a former cartoonist for The Daily Illini went on to become the founder of Playboy Enterprises.
Other famous alumni include Simpson’s writer and producer Larry Doyle and The New Yorker editor William Maxwell.
By Kevin Delgado, Staff writer