“Learning and Labor” – It’s the motto for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It also succinctly and aptly describes the relationship between Yahoo and the prestigious institution. Yesterday, we were pleased to welcome Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise to our campus in Sunnyvale. The Chancellor’s visit provided a great opportunity for alumni and summer interns to get together for an intimate discussion regarding what they learned at Illinois and how it has enhanced their labor at Yahoo. https://twitter.com/YahooLabs/status/347111069157838849 For Mourad Bouache, a Yahoo Senior Performance Engineer, this was a chance to brainstorm ways in which Yahoo and the University could grow their relationship. Having completed a post doctorate internship at Illinois involving improving the performance of processor simulators using modern compiler techniques, Bouache provided welcome insight on collaboration possibilities. It was a sentiment echoed by Chancellor Wise to build upon existing close ties and considerable investments, including a Yahoo facility at the University’s Research Park that employs more than 110 software engineers. There, a unique student employment model enables bright minds to access some of the best talent in the industry with the possibility of becoming future fulltime employees themselves. With top-five 2013 graduate and undergraduate engineering program rankings by U.S. News and World Report, Illinois is an excellent partner for innovation and problem solving. In recent years, Yahoo made a $200,000 donation to the University for work on the open cloud-computing research testbed Open Cirrus, as well as a sixty-server cluster donation under the Yahoo Star program. Additionally, Illinois has produced five recipients of the Yahoo Labs Faculty and Research Engagement Program (FREP) in the past three years. We thank the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for a close relationship of learning and labor, and look forward to continued mutual success and innovation.