We know for many of you, you’ll be experiencing the gala and grandeur of an Illini graduation. As you know, there is the all campus convocation at Memorial Stadium, but there will be separate ones for each of the colleges throughout campus throughout this weekend.
As you are celebrating your newly minted graduate (and hopefully the last college bills for them), you’ll want to document this happy occasion forever for yourself, Instagram, Facebook or whatever posting you want!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the university, the Illini Dads association want to give you our top 10 ten places to take a graduation photo with your son or daughter this weekend. Keep in mind, these aren’t in any particular order, but hopefully they’ll make your weekend something you will look forward to!
We took public photos from Instagram to show you these places and some photos other students have taken.
Here we go!
Krannert Steps – If you get there when it’s not busy, you can get a great shot in the amphitheater of steps. This is more of an aesthetic shot alone or with people due to it’s unique look, but it’s a great place to take a photo.
The Illini Union/Quad – Your new graduate has probably taken photos throughout their years on the quad and may not want to take a photo, but trust us, it’s one of the best places to take a group shot. Shots can be taken from the Illini Union side, or in this instance, the Foellinger side with the Illini Union and Quad in the background.
KAMS– While this is not an “university” owned location, it is a popular one for most students and alums as well. It’s especially important since this Kam’s location will be closing and moving locations very soon. Photos can be taken in front of the Kam’s sign as well as in front of the painted Alma Mater and Chief located in the beer garden.
Memorial Stadium – If you are planning on going to the campus wide commencement, Memorial Stadium has some great locations to take photos. Consider photos in the Memorial Stadium Columns located on both the west and east sides. You can reach them through the upper balcony walk up ramps. In addition, consider taking photos in Grange Grove, especially in front of the statue of Illinois football great Red Grange. Other places to consider: Red Grange Rock (on the field), any of the premium seating areas overseeing the field and providing a skyline of campus and south farms.
Hallene Gateway/Alice Campbell Hall Fountain – This very large structure used to be the original entrance to University Hall. In 1998, it was pulled from storage and placed permanently at the corner of Illinois and Lincoln Ave in Urbana. You can park in the lot across the street to the north and stroll over to take some great photos individually and as a group, then head over to the Alice Campbell Hall Fountain for a quick shot and then inside to celebrate them becoming a newly minted alum.
The Eternal Light (Quad) – Nestled on the west side of the quad is a stone semi-circle chair surrounding a tall tower with a lighted flame, the nondescript location is one where many illini alums have used for marriage proposals for decades. Former Illini All-American linebacker J Leman was one but others preceded him: https://dailyillini.com/features/2017/02/14/eternal-kiss-transforms-eternal-bliss/
Abe Lincoln Statue – Located inside Lincoln Hall on the quad, students who have had classes within famously rub Abe’s nose for good luck before tests. Since it is not always well lit, you may need to use a flash to get the full effect.
Foellinger Auditorium– Probably the second most popular location for photoshoots, Foellinger Auditorium is home to at least a core class, concert or other event for a student throughout college. Located directly across the quad from the Illini Union, you’ll see throngs of families taking photos of their graduate, their friends and more.
Engineering Quad/Bardeen Quad – While most of the more iconic locations are farther south, the Engineering Quad has some great places to take photos, especially on Bardeen Quad. This quad has bridges, the boneyard creek running through it, and wonderful backdrops for those who found most of their time north of Green Street.
Alma Mater – Probably the most popular location to take photo, this statue is the iconic photo post for all graduates. Make sure you have a lot of time because the lines are usually long and you won’t want to take just one photo!
While those are our recommendations, know there are plenty of other places we will just list below.
Also, if you have other suggestions, we’d love to hear about them below or in the comments online.
Congratulations to all our graduates!