Student Life at Illinois: 2010-2019



  • Men’s Wheelchair Basketball team won the National Championship.
  • University received funds to renovate Lincoln Hall.
  • Stanley Ikenberry named interim President.
  • Michael J. Hogan named the 18th President of the University in May.
  • Student Dining and Residential Programs building–first part of Stanley O. Ikenberry Commons construction project–completed.
  • University of Illinois led the nation in the number of Fulbright Scholarships awarded.


  • February snowstorm caused classes to be canceled for two days.
  • March 23rd fire on Green Street forced Mia Za’s Cafe, Zorba’s, and Pitaya to close. The businesses reopened roughly one year later.
  • Phyllis Wise named Chancellor.
  • Mike Thomas appointed Athletic Director to succeed the retiring Ron Guenther.
  • Ron Zook fired as football coach and replaced by Tim Beckman.


  • Jolette Law fired as women’s basketball coach and replaced by Matt Bollant.
  • Bruce Weber fired as men’s basketball coach and John Groce named as replacement.
  • UIUC students approve a fee to help the Daily Illini in March.
  • Michael J. Hogan resigned as President and Robert Easter chosen as his successor.
  • Alma Mater statue sent to Forest Park, IL for renovation.
  • Timothy J. Nugent Hall completed.


  • Members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) went on strike.
  • Late March storm dumped nearly a foot of snow on the campus, causing classes to be canceled.
  • University police increased their use of surveillance cameras.
  • Blue Waters computing facility officially opened.
  • Alumni astronaut Mike Hopkins spoke to students from aboard the International Space Station in October.
  • In November, the YMCA lost support from the Catholic Church over its connection to a group that supported same-sex marriage.
  • Assembly Hall renamed State Farm Center ahead of expected renovations.
  • Former student Dany Sammak from Saudi Arabia arrested and deported after making terrorist-like threats on campus.


  • In January, Chancellor Phyllis Wise was the target of sexist and racist online comments after her decision to keep campus open despite the cold.
  • College of Business offered a 3D printing class.
  • Adjunct instructor James Kilgore’s contract was not renewed because of his former ties with the Symbionese Liberation Army.
  • Illinois’ pension reform laws resulted in mass retirements.
  • Crop Sciences major Richard Fu of Taiwan was reported missing in June, after going swimming with two other students off the coast of Brazil while studying abroad.
  • Chancellor Phyllis Wise blocked the appointment of Steven Salaita to the American Indian Studies Program. As a result, nearly 6,000 professors nationwide support boycotting the university, 16 departments voted “no confidence” in the administration, and Salaita sued the University after being denied a request for public documents.
  • Timothy L. Killen named 20th president of the University of Illinois.
  • In December, Central Black Student Union organized peaceful marches and a Die-In when hundreds of students protested the events that unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri regarding Mike Brown.


  • Chancellor Phyllis Wise and Provost Ilesanmi Adesida step down. Wise had been locally and nationally condemned amidst the controversy surrounding Steven Salaita’s unhiring in 2014 which lead to her decision to resign.
  • Brian Ross named associate dean of LAS to support acting Chancellor and Dean of LAS Barbara Wilson.
  • Edward Feser named interim provost following the resignation of Ilesanmi Adesida due to events surrounding the Salaita controversy.
  • Secretary of the Board of Trustees Susan Kies announces retirement
  • Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson announces University plan to become carbon neutral by 2050, possibly by 2035.


  • Wassaja Residence Hall opened, named after the first Native American graduate from the University.
  • Lovie Smith hired as head football coach.
  • In September, State Farm Center reopens after two years of construction with “grand reopening” featuring prominent musical and sports events
  • Rally against rape culture at Illini Union from multiple RSOs.
  • Robert Jones begins work as Chancellor.
  • Candlelight vigil for victims of September 25th shooting hosted by Student Senate.
  • Vice chancellor of student affairs Renee Romano announces retirement in May.
  • Black Students for Revolution host walk out and march down Green Street.
  • About 75 students gather at Alma Mater in protest of the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States.
  • Student senate approves Columbus Day name change to Indigenous People’s Day.


  • Brad Underwood hired as men’s basketball coach.
  • University appoints new vice chancellor for advancement.
  • Students gather at Anniversary plaza in support of undocumented students.
  • Brendt Christensen, a graduate student of the physics department, arrested as the suspect behind the disappearance and presumed death of visiting Chinese scholar Yingying Zhang
  • University retires “Illini War Chant.”
  • Graduate Employees’ Organization (GEO) bargains for new contract terms including better salaries and right to strike
  • ISG protest interrupts Homecoming parade in protest of retired university symbol Chief Illiniwek.
  • Andreas Cangellaris named new vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost.


  • ISG passes resolution to remove Chief Illiniwek logo from university buildings.
  • Plans implemented for Altgeld hall to receive major renovation for the first time in 60 years.
  • Graduate Employees’ Organization strikes in pursuit of health coverage, fair wages, and tuition waivers; deal signed after two weeks.
  • Campus RSOs partake in March For Our Lives with rallies and speeches.
  • Memorial held for one-year anniversary of Yingying Zhang’s disappearance.
  • Illinois Commitment announced, offering free tuition to students with family incomes under $61,000.


  • In a rare move, chancellor cancels classes due to extremely cold and snowy weather conditions.
  • University research team part of coalition that captures first ever image of a black hole.
  • University bans all tobacco products on campus.
  • Noose found in Allen Hall, leading to arrest of a nineteen year old student.
  • Swastika found on Foreign Language Building leading to new training and presentations on anti-Semitism across the University.
  • Fighting Illini football team upsets No. 6 Wisconsin with a last-second field goal in the 2019 Homecoming Game.
  • Longtime campus bar KAMS closes in preparation for move to new location.