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
Belvidere
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
Orangeville
The Honorable Donald L. Hoyle
Jim Glasgow and Bill Culbreth
Centralia
The Honorable Rebecca Ault
Chie Curley
Evanston
The Honorable Elizabeth B. Tisdahl
Don Dalton
Midlothian
The Honorable Terrence M. Stephens
Maria DeCaprio-Sunta
Palos Heights
The Honorable Robert S. Straz
The William Diaz Family (Bill, Jane, Joe, and Ben)
Pontiac
The Honorable Robert T. Russell
Stephanie Downs Hughes
Naperville
The Honorable A. George Pradel
Jonathan Elfner
Homewood
The Honorable Richard A. Hofeld
Rick Falato
Yorkville
The Honorable Valerie Burd
Susie Field
Northbrook
The Honorable Sandra E. Frum
Michael Galati
Lemont
The Honorable Brian K. Reaves
LaDonna Gass
Emden
The Honorable Ivan Rademaker
Sharon Goodman
Warrenville
The Honorable David L. Brummel
Jane Wendling and David Haney
Rushville
The Honorable Scott A. Thompson
Fredericka Howard
West Chicago
The Honorable Michael Kwasman
Martha Ingram
Winfield
The Honorable Deborah Birutis
Nellene Jeter
Byron
The Honorable Christopher R. Millard
Mary Ann Kaylor
Illiopolis
The Honorable Robert Winters
Bill Kemp
Bloomington
The Honorable Steve Stockton
Kit P. Ketchmark
Brookfield
The Honorable Michael Garvey
Suzanne Knapp
Fox River Grove
The Honorable Robert J. Nunamaker
Joseph Ballerine and JoAnne Kosey
Riverside
The Honorable Michael C. Gorman
Rita Lopienski
Bartlett
The Honorable Michael E. Kelly
Damian T. Macey
Marshall
The Honorable Kenneth R. Smith
Joseph Matheu
Palos Park
The Honorable John F. Mahoney
Wilbert J. "Bucky" McCoy
Ashley
The Honorable Leonard Piasecki
Ruth Corene McDaniel
Carbondale
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
Decatur
The Honorable Michael T. McElroy
R. Beverly Peters
Springfield
The Honorable Timothy J. Davlin
Michelle Pilafas
Hoffman Estates
The Honorable William D. McLeod
Richard (Dick) Sax
Mascoutah
The Honorable Gerald (Jerry) E. Daugherty
Donna Seaman
Chicago
The Honorable Richard M. Daley
John Shimkus
Granville
The Honorable Doug Gimbal
Brian Simpson
Normal
The Honorable Chris Koos
Harry Louis Wolf
Waterloo
The Honorable Thomas G. Smith
Joey Woolridge
Clinton
The Honorable Ed Wollet
Gene Wright
Savanna
The Honorable Larry Stebbins