Roger Ebert never forgot his alma mater, the University of Illinois.
The famed film critic was one of the most visible alumni of the school and made large donations. That included a promise to leave papers and other materials to the school.
He also maintained a strong link to the student newspaper, The Daily Illini, where he was editor in chief 50 years ago.
Last year, he helped the paper raise money as it struggled financially, and worked with students on the guide to the annual film festival he held on campus.
Publisher Lil Levant says students had just shipped Ebert this year's guide for his feedback.
The current Daily Illini editor, junior Darshan Patel, says he and other students are "in shock" over Ebert's death.