2018 Annual Alumni Banquet

The Luncheon at the SDSU Alumni Center will feature a presentation on the history of Illini Music and Song by Joe Rank, retired Vice President of the Illinois Alumni Association. John Major, local scientist and philanthropist will be our Award Recipient.

On Sunday, March 25, the Illini Club of San Diego County annual dinner will be held at the SDSU alumni center. We are trying something new this year with an Italian buffet luncheon held from noon to 4pm.  If you have never attended an annual banquet, you will find out what a rewarding experience you have been missing: a chance to meet and socialize with outstanding fellow Illini while reconnecting with your University.



Joe Rank is a retired vice president of the University of Illinois Alumni Association.  Joe is a 1969 and 1973 advertising graduate of the University of Illinois College of Media. While at Illinois he was a member of Naval ROTC, the Marching Illini and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.  Joe is a career naval officer who enjoyed three shipboard tours in San Diego beginning in 1969 when the El Cortez Hotel was the tallest building in the city and a navigational landmark. Joe also served as assistant professor of naval science at the University of Illinois. Since his retirement from the Alumni Association in 2011, he has worked on a part-time basis to chronicle the history and traditions of the University of Illinois.  The results of his efforts will be featured in the new campus Welcome Center which will be housed in the Alice Campbell Alumni Center beginning at Homecoming this year.  

The Presentation: Music of Illinois

Over the course of the past century-and-a-half, students, alumni, and faculty have created a number of traditions, which have bound them together across generations. One of Illinois’ enduring traditions is its music. While the oldest living alumni might not recognize the sprawling campus with its state-of-the-art facilities and diverse curricula, they would no doubt take great joy in knowing that today’s students cherish many of the same tunes they held so dear. Join retired Alumni Association vice president and Marching Illini alumnus Joe Rank for a toe-tapping musical presentation on the history of familiar songs – Illinois Loyalty, Hail to the Orange, Oskee Wow Wow, Three-in-One and others - that have made it into the permanent band and choral repertoire.  


Each year the Club recognizes an Illinois graduate who has made contributions to the community as well as achievements in their chosen profession.  This year we are proud to present the award to John E. Major.  Mr. Major is a wireless technology innovator who holds a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois (he has Juris Doctor and MBA degrees from other universities).  His accomplishments include Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Motorola, and CEO of Wireless Knowledge, a joint venture of Qualcomm and Microsoft. Mr. Major and his wife, Susan, recently donated $1million to the Institute of Allergy and Immunology (John serves on their Board of Directors).  Mr. Major is Chairman of the Engineering School Advisory Board at the U of I, Chicago, and President's Board on Science and Innovation for the University of California. 

The Venue: SDSU Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center Ballroom (5250 55th St, San Diego, CA)

The event begins at noon with no-host wine, beer and soft drinks followed by an Italian Buffet luncheon at 1:00.  The buffet includes Chicken Parmesan, Vegetarian Penne Pasta, Meat Sauces, Hearty Marinara Sauce, Italian Green Beans, and Classic Caesar Salad.  There will be Strawberry Shortcake for dessert.


We have significantly reduced the cost by switching to a buffet lunch.  For members and guests, the cost is only $49.  For recent graduates (2008 and later), there will be a $5 discount, which is sponsored by one of our generous club members.  If you are a recent graduate, please select this ticket option.  Parking is available for $4 per vehicle.  When making your purchase, please be sure to add both the dinner price and parking (if necessary) to your cart.     Click the link below to buy your tickets today!

Click here to buy tickets!!!