LiveBIG Staff, June 14, 2019

Summer is upon us, and we know that probably the last thing you want to think about is the school year. But, whether you?re a seasoned senior or an incoming freshman, it is never too late - or too early - to brush up on all that your Big Ten university has to offer.

So, we asked the experts from all fourteen universities to round up a list of can?t-miss items, from cool locations to creative programs, which students would be remiss in missing out on. Consider it your collegiate bucket list. If these are news to you, we hope you?re inspired to adventure. If you?ve already checked off a few of these, also great; please let us know in the comments below.


Enjoy the splendor of the Alma Mater sculpture and Altgeld Chime Tower

No trip to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is complete without visiting the Alma Mater sculpture at the corner of Green and Wright streets. Stand in front of the sculpture with your hands outstretched like Alma and take a picture, then wave, as you are on the Alma Cam, a webcam that streams live video of the sculpture 24/7. Time your visit to 12:50 p.m. during the school year and listen to a concert hand-played in the recently renovated Altgeld Chime Tower, or play your own tune on the virtual chimes.


Fall in love beneath the Eternal Flame

Magnolia tree blooms frame the Eternal Flame memorial.

Romance is in the air near the Eternal Flame, a pillar with a flaming electric light at the top located between Lincoln Hall and the English Building. The Eternal Flame was a gift from the graduating class of 1912. Formerly an ever-burning oil lamp, the flame promises endless love if you kiss your sweetheart beneath it: ?A lover?s kiss will bring eternal bliss.?


Check out the harvest at the Morrow Plots

Oat harvest at the Morrow Plots.

Established in 1876, the Morrow Plots are the oldest experimental crop field in the Americas and the second oldest in the world. Established as a National Historic Landmark in 1968, research on the plots was instrumental in gaining knowledge on crop rotation, soil nutrient depletion and the effects of synthetic and natural fertilizers.


Stroll through Arboretum and Japan House

Gazebo near Japan House at the University of Illinois Arboretum.

The Arboretum is a living laboratory, including plant collections and facilities that support the teaching, research and public service programs on campus. Talk a walk in the spring under the cherry tree blossoms to the Japan House, where you can learn the intricacies of and participate in a tea ceremony that?s based on Japanese traditions that are 400 years old. Tired? You can rest your legs on a bench underneath a gazebo actor and alumnus Nick Offerman built in honor of his sensei, Illinois professor emeritus Shozo Sato.


Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and Krannert Art Museum 

Foellinger Great Hall at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

The Krannert Center, currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, was created by a gift from alumnus Hermann Krannert and his wife, Ellnora, who is the namesake of a prestigious biannual guitar festival now held at the center. The Foellinger Great Hall, one of five indoor stages, is one of the world?s premiere acoustic environments. The Krannert Art Museum is the second largest general fine art museum in the state of Illinois and has an encyclopedic permanent collection of more than 10,000 artworks from the 4th century BCE to the present.


– University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Office of Public Affairs