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U of I street named for alumnus

February 16, 2014

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois is naming a street near the State Farm Center in Urbana after a man whose family donated $1 million toward renovation of the arena.

The Champaign News-Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/1dU9r7M ) John Penicook Drive will be the name of the new horseshoe-shaped way on the west side of the arena.

Penicook was a 1981 alumnus who died last year after battling a brain tumor.

Penicook’s wife, Mary Ellen, and four children donated the money in his name because he was a big Illini basketball fan.

Mary Ellen Penicook says “drive” is appropriate for the street name because her husband was a driven, smart and tireless worker as an investment banker. She says he learned those traits growing up on his family’s farm near Piper City.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com

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