UI 150th anniversary celebration plans scaled back due to budget cuts

By Megan Jones, Staff Writer

The UI system is preparing to launch a Sesquicentennial Celebration for its 150th anniversary, but the events have been scaled back due to budget cuts.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Corporate Relations and Economic Development Pradeep Khanna spoke to UI trustees at Thursday’s meeting.

“When I came and presented to you last year, we had ambitious plans, but after that a lot has happened regarding the budget for the University and that made us take a fresh look at our plans,” he said.

Instead of hosting and creating new events to celebrate the anniversary, the campuses are instead incorporating the sesquicentennial into pre-existing annual events, such as homecoming.

The celebration will start on Feb. 28, 2017, which marks the 150th anniversary of the state legislature that created the university. The kick off will be held at the Krannert Center of Performing Arts. Other events include new student arrival days, homecoming and more. Prominent public leaders and alumni will also be invited to speak. The celebration will end May 13, 2018, the day of the commencement ceremony in Urbana.

Special projects commissioned for the anniversary include documenting the history of innovations that came from the University, which is produced by the Urbana campus’ history department. Pieces of music have been commissioned for band and choir groups and will be performed in Chicago, New York and Champaign-Urbana in 2018.

The branding and logo for the celebration is “Shaping the Future Since 1867.”

Students and alumni can read more and share their stories at 150.illinois.edu.

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