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Famous Illini Women: A Guide

Happy Women’s History Month, Illini! To celebrate, here’s a look at some historic women who once graced the residence halls of our humble, Midwestern university.


Red Lion Poop Girl: Starting off the list strong with a classic model of female empowerment. Before the girl more commonly known as RLPG joined the Illinois family, only men traditionally defecated in public places. RLPG showed us that privilege is not limited to college-educated men alone, earning her place in history as a pioneer of public indecency.


Homeless Pregnant Woman: To that one homeless woman who has claimed to be pregnant for the last 4 years (at least), we salute you. Your standard of persistence is something all pubescent women can look up to. That’s one hell of a gestation period for gender justice.


Alma: Thank you for constantly being there for the entire student body for the last 86 years (minus 2012-2014) as a symbol of resilience. Her outstretched arms represent the welcoming atmosphere of the university, and her warm embrace comforts students daily. Her refurbishment taught women everywhere that—no matter how old you are—two years at the spa will make you look like new.


Lady (?) Behind Alma: Often overlooked due to confusion over whether you are a man or a woman, you, Lady-man behind and to the right when facing the Alma Mater, are a symbol of acceptance for women and androgynous people all over campus.


Chancellor Wise: The Black Sheep writes about our pal Phyllis quite a bit, and the reason, truth be told, is the entire campus looks up to her. In the face of extreme fear, she stood your ground for what she thought was right. Cheers, Phyllis, you taught every woman to stand up for her beliefs, even when her students are being infantile, racist fuckwits about it on Twitter.


Clock Tower Lady: The general consensus is that you are a lady and a gifted musician. Without fail, you brighten everyone’s day with your gift of music and a variety of musical renditions, with a peppering of video game themes and the so-called “Fight Song.” You can cool it on the Harry Potter tunes, though. Yeah, Altgeld’s a “castle” just like Hogwarts. We get it.


_______________: Future first female astronaut from University of Illinois, you might not be born yet, but we’re all counting on you to succeed. Unless Lee J. Archembault is a girl’s name, there have been six male astronauts from UIUC and they get their own sub-section on the “Famous Alumni” Wikipedia page, so…hop to it. Everyone is cheering for you already. Don’t let us down.


Rosalyn Yalow: The only Nobel Prize winning alumna from UIUC for the field of Physiology or Medicine, doesn’t matter which one. She ranks up there with great Nobel Prize winners like Polykarp Kusch, who won in the field of Physics and best Key & Peele skit name.


Betsy Brandt: Played Marie Schrader in Breaking Bad and alumna of UIUC. You taught young girls to be kind of annoying siblings/sister-in-laws and shoplift to pursue their dreams no matter what. Probably also how to cook meth, but that wasn’t really you, that was just the show in general.


The Gonz: Celebrated musician, cook, entrepreneur, lover, and writer for The Black Sheep. Women and men across the nation can look up to you as a symbol of empowerment, class, sophistication, beauty, wit, charm, and the list goes on. Not only are your articles hilarious, they’re poignant and political. Definitely one of the most influential people of our generation, and the entirety of recorded civilization, really. Bless, you… you beautiful, beautiful soul.


Pretty impressive repertoire we’ve got going on at U of I, don’t we, ladies? Hopefully that’s enough inspiration to help our courageous women engineering students get passed all the creepy, beta male engineering students constantly trying to nab their numbers in lecture.

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