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Illini Legends, Lists and Lore | March 11

One-hundred-fifty years ago today — March 11, 1868 — the Illinois Industrial University (University of Illinois) celebrated its opening of nine days earlier with inaugural ceremonies. President John Milton Gregory, both members of his faculty, 77 students and a bevy of town folk gathered in a large hall on the third floor of University Hall, known by its moniker "The Elephant."

Illini Legends, Lists and Lore: D.J. Richardson

Happy 27th Birthday to Dietrich "D.J." Richardson (above). Recruited to Illinois to play basketball by Bruce Weber, Richardson played his final season in 2012-13 for John Groce.

VIDEO: Jock Jams

After Illinois golfer and Jock Jams host Dylan Meyer sent him a direct message on Twitt

Illini AD on the air

Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman was a guest on Saturday SportsTalk on WDWS 1400-AM in downtown Champaign, discussing plans — both on the field and off — that are under way.

"We're really excited about what the future is going to bring," he told hosts Loren Tate and Michael Kiser.

UI: 150 years, 1,000 stories, 100 videos

They hail from six continents — the Urbana-born doctor who's devoted the past three decades to caring for the poorest of the poor in East Africa; the dreamer from Freeport who grew up with 16 brothers and sisters and went on to become the first black American billionaire; the South Korean journalist who never thought she'd see her byline in the student newspaper, being a self-described "FOTB" (

Oct. 6 Ask the Sports Editor chat

Friday, October 6, 2017 - 2:00pm

Will a quarterback change spark the Illinois football team Saturday at Iowa? Is there anything else Lovie Smith and Co. can do to right the ship? On the high school side of things, which teams and players are the ones to watch with postseason play beginning to get underway? Anything is fair game in sports editor Matt Daniels' weekly chat, which gets going at 2 p.m. on Friday.

'The University of Illinois is where I belong’

CHAMPAIGN — Two years ago, Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond senior Logan Hall posted an Instagram photo of himself on the state meet podium next to then-Oakwood runner Jon Davis.

Sept. 22 Ask the Sports Editor chat

Friday, September 22, 2017 - 2:00pm

Will the bye week make a difference for Illinois football when it returns to action Sept. 29 against Nebraska? Is that a winnable game given the Cornhuskers' struggles? On the high school side, which teams and players are the ones to watch with postseason play approaching? Anything is fair game in sports editor Matt Daniels' weekly chat, which gets going at 2 p.m. on Friday.

Tate: You haven't heard the last of me just yet

Elephants have the right idea.

When their time comes, they shuffle off to their designated area — no matter the distance — and pass quietly from the scene. There's a certain dignity about it.

I'm not yet ready for that, for sure, but I mistakenly thought I could do Douglas MacArthur's "old soldier" bit and let 51-year-old Tatelines fade unnoticed from the writing scene.

Sept. 8 Ask the Sports Editor chat

Friday, September 8, 2017 - 2:00pm

It might be just the first full week of September, but The News-Gazette sports staff is knee deep in Illinois and area high school athletics. What teams have stood out through the first few weeks? Which developing storylines might be of the most importance as the fall seasons progress? Who are the early breakout players?