Alma Mater is ready for her race.
Check out the iconic statue at Wright and Green, and you’ll see she’s wearing a bib number – No. 1867, appropriately, the year the University of Illinois was founded – and an orange and blue sweatband, in recognition of this weekend’s Illinois Marathon.
“We really want her to start reflecting what’s going on on campus and participating,” said Robin Kaler, associate chancellor for public affairs. “She’s stood here watching. She should be part of it.”
Shortly after the Winter Olympics, Alma Mater wore oversize Olympic “medals” in honor of Champaign natives and Olympic medalists Katherine Reutter and Jonathan Kuck.
Illinois Marathon Co-Director Jan Seeley had the extra-large marathon bib number made by the same company that is doing the bib numbers for the racers and the signs for the weekend’s races, Kaler said.
Sarah Dolinar, associate director for communications for the UI’s College of Media, knitted the sweatband to fit Alma’s head.
So get over there after your race Saturday and get your photo taken with Alma Mater.
And look for her to be decked out for UI’s graduation weekend next.