Innovation at Illinois

As I do my usual rounds as an RA at Snyder Hall, I always walk past a room on the fourth floor that sparks my interest. This room has a plaque on it that says “Marc Andreessen – Co-Founder Of The First Web Browser Lived Here”. It turns out Andreessen is a Silicon Valley giant today as he sits on the board of Facebook and eBay.

I should not be too surprised that someone such as Andreessen would have lived in my residence hall; Illinois has a rich history of innovation. There are many extraordinary alumni that have come from our wonderful university. Music industry legend and former CEO of Ticketmaster, Irving Azoff, attended Illinois. Donald Bitzer, the man who co-invented the plasma display, once sat in our historic lectures. The co-founder of the revolutionary website YouTube, Jawed Karim, calls himself an alumnus of Illinois. The list of prestigious innovators goes on and on.

The reason that Illinois has had such groundbreaking alumni is simple: Illinois pushes each student for excellence no matter what field they are in. If there is something that a student wants to explore, our university is the perfect place to explore and get the most out of anything that someone wants to do. World-class professors, top-notch facilities, and a diverse student body are just a few aspects of the kind of unique and unparalleled experience that Illinois provides for each of its students.

I do have to say that I feel truly inspired by the plaque on that door in my hall. Not only am I living in a building with such historic significance but attending a university where I have the opportunity to achieve just as much as Andreessen. There is no doubt that the University of Illinois has and always will be a fertile ground for innovation.

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