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CEE alumnus returns to campus to examine change

12/5/2016 4:12:33 PM

By Jess Peterson, The Daily Illini staff writer

Grinning from cheek to cheek and stepping foot on a campus he has not returned to in over 40 years, Michael Peterson recounted what it was like to be a black student at the University in the 1970s.

Amid outward displays of discrimination and an unwelcoming environment, the alum said he values what he learned and the moments of hardship that ultimately made him stronger. The experiences of discrimination inspired Peterson to raise minority student involvement in the engineering field.

A graduate from the civil engineering program in 1974, Peterson returned to campus this past week to revisit his time at the University. In preparation for his trip, Peterson worked to schedule meetings with current staff members in the College of Engineering and a past mentor who helped shape who he is today.

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Photo: Emma Li