The wood detailing hasn't lost its luster and the cupola reflects the sunlight as brightly as the day it opened on February 8, 1941. Since its inception, the Illini Union has been a resource to the entire campus community. Even before he was officially inducted as president in 1934, A. C. Willard publicly supported the development of a headquarters for students, faculty and staff to use for both social and professional purposes.


Illini Union Panoramic 


  • From 1919 to 1921, the main floor of the YMCA (now the Illini Hall) was the Illini Union headquarters
  • Construction plans began in 1939 by architects Howard Lovewell and John Calvin Leavell
  • The building was designed in the shape of an "I" to honor the university
  • The cupola was chosen as the building's focal point due to the Colonial Williamsburg-inspired decor
  • Eleanor Roosevelt dedicated the building in 1942
  • An addition was built in 1963 to accommodate the additional services offered to the growing enrollment

To this day, the Illini Union staff makes it a priority to offer a home rich in the University’s historical traditions. Attention to the preservation of the building has been a significant responsibility over the years, and the staff of the Illini Union works to provide guidance, support and encouragement to all who utilize it. The Illini Union continues to thrive as a reflection of the vibrant student body here at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Illini Union renovation proposal and historical slide show.

We are part of Student Affairs at Illinois

The Illini Union is a part of Student Affairs at the University of Illinois. From outside the classroom learning experiences, to physical and emotional wellness, leadership opportunities, global awareness, safety, fun, and career preparation, Student Affairs supports all aspects of student life at Illinois. 


The Illini Union enriches students’ academic experience by building an inclusive community and providing growth and developmental opportunities through engaging programs, outstanding services, and purposeful employment.


The Illini Union will be the premiere college union.


Community, Student Centeredness and Learning, Leadership, Excellence, Diversity and Inclusion, Integrity, Traditions, and Collaboration


Current | 2021

Previous | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 20142015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020  


2015 - 2017


Welcome to the Illini Union website! Tell us what you think!