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Question: In Champaign-Urbana is State Farm Center, the University of Illinois athletic arena that looks like a concrete flying saucer and until 2013 was known as the Assembly Hall. Do you know the four other names that were finalists back in December 1963 when U of I officials originally named the building?

Answer: Mulling a name for the arena only a month after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, the governor of Illinois at the time (Otto Kerner) favored it being called the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hall. But not wanting to get caught up in the emotions of the moment, a vote was taken among faculty and students and “Assembly Hall” won out, nudging the other possibilities — Illini Assembly Hall, Robert Zupke Assembly Hall and Red Grange Assembly Hall.

 

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