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Celebrate the legacy of project 500

Project 500 - 50th Anniversary

The Special Educational Opportunities Program (Project 500) was the first extensive effort by the University of Illinois to offer equal educational opportunities for all of the residents of Illinois. Spurred by the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, students and community residents urged the university to enroll students traditionally underrepresented on campus. In 1967, only 372 of 30,400 students were black. In 1968, 565 newly admitted African American and Latino students entered the student body.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Project 500, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign would like to invite members of the Project 500 initiative, the campus community, alumni, and friends to celebrate with a weekend of commemorative events from September 27-29, 2018.

Activities will kick off on Thursday, September 27, when the university will open the celebration with an opportunity for attendees to reconnect with old friends and make new ones at Levis Faculty Center during the Welcome Reception.

Then, on Friday, September 28, attendees will gather for hors d'oeuvres at Alice Campbell Alumni Center then stroll to Krannert Center for the Performing Arts to enjoy a musical performance. After the show, they will celebrate with desserts at Alice Campbell Alumni Center.

Saturday, September 29, attendees will go back to school with panel discussions about Project 500—then and now. The weekend will culminate with a Gala Dinner on Saturday night at the I-Hotel and Conference Center.

Don’t wait, register now* for this amazing event.

*Project 500 alumni should use the code ALUMNI to receive a 50% discount on registration fees.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, September 27:

  • Welcome Reception at the Levis Center (919 W. Illinois St., Urbana, IL)

Friday, September 28:

Saturday, September 29:

  • Panel discussions about Project 500—then and now
  • Gala Dinner at the I-Hotel

If you require accommodations for this event, group blocks have been made at the following hotels: 

Super 8 Champaign-Urbana 
(Group Code: Project 500)
202 West Marketview Drive 
Champaign, IL 

TownePlace Suites 
(Group Code: Project 500)
603 S. Sixth Street 
Champaign, IL 

Home2 Suites by Hilton  
(Group Code: PFC)
2013 South Neil Street 
Champaign, IL 

Holiday Inn Express 
(Group Code: PFC)
1003 W Killarney Street 
Urbana, IL 

I Hotel and Conference Center 
(Attendee Code: 50ANNIVER)
1901 South First Street 
Champaign, IL