"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."
-John Quincy Adams
Alumna Continues to Foster Her Love of UNI
"Because I'm an only child, my sorority sisters are the siblings I never had." — Barbara Illian, '70
"My fondest memories of UNI are the fun I had with the people I met in class, young men I dated and, especially, my sorority sisters. We enjoyed dances in the Commons Ballroom and the Men's Gym (who can forget the great band IBTC!), parties, Homecoming float building and football games outside—no Dome."
A commuter student, Barb Illian says she felt more a part of campus after she joined her sorority. She recalls how hard they worked to bring another national sorority to campus. On March 7, 1970, she was thrilled to see her 52-year-old local sorority, Phi Sigma Phi, become UNI's chapter of Alpha Phi International Fraternity. She is still involved with Alpha Phi in the Chicago Northwest Suburban Alumnae Chapter.
After teaching seventh-grade English for eight years, Barb joined the corporate world when Wisconsin Bell hired her as a manager to write and update business services training materials. She later transferred to AT&T's regional headquarters in Chicago to develop methods and procedures for new business service centers. Following a promotion, she facilitated leadership development, team development and individual assessment sessions around the United States. She jokes, "I could never stop using my teacher skills."
Barb also never stops touting UNI to her friends or anyone she meets.
When the Panthers play football or basketball, you can be sure Barb is glued to her TV screen cheering them on from her home in Chicago or shouting, "Go Panthers!" from a seat in the stadium. A generous gift through her estate will continue to foster her love for UNI.
"I have no family so it's important to me to donate to the university I love—in gratitude for all the special memories and fun I still have today," Barb says.
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