The Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award

The Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award is on indefinite hiatus while we revamp the program for the future.  Thank you for your interest.

The Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award is a biennial honor bestowed on individuals who carry the torch of the humanities. These humanities heroes are nominated by Illinois mayors.

2009 marks the 10th anniversary of this prestigious award. In alternating years, the IHC invites mayors throughout the state to nominate one individual (up to three in cities with populations of 100,000 or more) who has demonstrated a sustained and significant contribution to furthering public understanding of the humanities in their community. These unsung "humanities heroes" contribute to cultural life through projects related to historic preservation, heritage, adult and childhood education, and the study of arts or music.

Since 1999, nearly 450 recipients have been named. The communities that have participated in the program are as far south as Makanda and as far north as Waukegan. Of these recipients, the majority was involved in creating awareness about local and/or regional history in their communities through the establishment of historical societies or museums; others were noted for their outstanding dedication to education, formal and informal; to literacy and library programs; to creating awareness for cultural heritage, music, literature, and the arts. By recognizing their efforts, we also encourage others, notably local government, to pay a bit more attention to the humanities.

In local ceremonies, award recipients receive a medal designed especially for the awards program. The medals are struck in solid bronze by the Medallic Art Company -- the company that makes both the Pulitzer Prize and the Peabody Award -- and engraved with the names of the recipients and their communities. In addition, all awardees and their Mayors or Village Presidents are invited to a biennial reception in Springfield or Chicago.

The names and communities of the 2009 winners are below. For information on previous award years, click the desired year in the right sidebar.

NameCommunityNominated By
Jay Allen
The Honorable Frederic C. (Fred) Brereton
Dan Anderson
Glen Ellyn
The Honorable Mark Pfefferman
Ellen Bartolozzi
Elmwood Park
The Honorable Peter N. Silvestri
Shirley J. Beene
Trout Valley
The Honorable Bob Baker
Lawrence Block
Highland Park
The Honorable Michael D. Belsky
John C. Buford
The Honorable Donald L. Hoyle
Jim Glasgow and Bill Culbreth
The Honorable Rebecca Ault
Chie Curley
The Honorable Elizabeth B. Tisdahl
Don Dalton
The Honorable Terrence M. Stephens
Maria DeCaprio-Sunta
Palos Heights
The Honorable Robert S. Straz
The William Diaz Family (Bill, Jane, Joe, and Ben)
The Honorable Robert T. Russell
Stephanie Downs Hughes
The Honorable A. George Pradel
Jonathan Elfner
The Honorable Richard A. Hofeld
Rick Falato
The Honorable Valerie Burd
Susie Field
The Honorable Sandra E. Frum
Michael Galati
The Honorable Brian K. Reaves
LaDonna Gass
The Honorable Ivan Rademaker
Sharon Goodman
The Honorable David L. Brummel
Jane Wendling and David Haney
The Honorable Scott A. Thompson
Fredericka Howard
West Chicago
The Honorable Michael Kwasman
Martha Ingram
The Honorable Deborah Birutis
Nellene Jeter
The Honorable Christopher R. Millard
Mary Ann Kaylor
The Honorable Robert Winters
Bill Kemp
The Honorable Steve Stockton
Kit P. Ketchmark
The Honorable Michael Garvey
Suzanne Knapp
Fox River Grove
The Honorable Robert J. Nunamaker
Joseph Ballerine and JoAnne Kosey
The Honorable Michael C. Gorman
Rita Lopienski
The Honorable Michael E. Kelly
Damian T. Macey
The Honorable Kenneth R. Smith
Joseph Matheu
Palos Park
The Honorable John F. Mahoney
Wilbert J. "Bucky" McCoy
The Honorable Leonard Piasecki
Ruth Corene McDaniel
The Honorable Brad Cole
Michele A. Micetich
Carbon Hill
The Honorable Edward M. Pacchetti
J. Martin Olsen
Glendale Heights
The Honorable Linda Jackson
Paul Osborne
The Honorable Michael T. McElroy
R. Beverly Peters
The Honorable Timothy J. Davlin
Michelle Pilafas
Hoffman Estates
The Honorable William D. McLeod
Richard (Dick) Sax
The Honorable Gerald (Jerry) E. Daugherty
Donna Seaman
The Honorable Richard M. Daley
John Shimkus
The Honorable Doug Gimbal
Brian Simpson
The Honorable Chris Koos
Harry Louis Wolf
The Honorable Thomas G. Smith
Joey Woolridge
The Honorable Ed Wollet
Gene Wright
The Honorable Larry Stebbins