Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
By Paulina Martinez
CHARLESTON— What began as an afternoon stroll through the Commemorative Courtyard, ended up being a time of reflection for Eastern Illinois University alumnae Irma Conrad and Reva Cougill.
“I was an elementary major, “ Coguill, 80, said. “Irma and I actually were roommates when we stayed at Eastern.”
The ladies had lost touch for a while throughout the 61 years. But when they spoke again, they decided to make a bucket list, which included visiting the place where they first met, at EIU.
Cougill admits that a lot has changed since the two graduated, explaining that Booth Library used to be the end of the campus.
“When we were here we stayed in a house right across from campus because Pemberton was the only dorm you could stay in,” Conrad said, “We used to walk a mile downtown to see a movie.”
Today, EIU students have much more available, what with the expansion of the university, technology and housing; something unimaginable in 1952.
“We walked everywhere. To class. Church and town,” Cougill said.
The two were visiting the Commemorative Courtyard with long time friend, Betty Woodring Tuesday afternoon. The ladies came see Conrad’s commemorative brick, which is part of the display near Booth Library.
“One day I got something in the mail asking if I wanted to get a brick to commemorate my time at EIU,” Said Conrad.
While Conguill declined, the time spent at EIU is one they both still cherish and they hope to help current students cherish their time at EIU too.
“Every year EIU asks me if I want to donate money to the school,” Conrad says.
Cougill adds, “And every year she always does!”