Press Release


Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award Recipients to Meet at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum September 29

CHICAGO—On September 29, 2005 the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) will host a reception for the 2004 recipients of the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, 212 North Sixth Street, Springfield, from 6:00- 8:00 p.m. Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich serves as the reception’s honorary chair.

To date, the IHC has named more than 400 recipients, 72 of which were awarded in 2004. The 2004 Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award recipients hail fromcommunities in all regions of the state, from Kinmundy to Kankakee, and from Skokie to Springfield. For a complete list of recipients and their communities please visit the IHC’s website at The program during the reception will feature remarks by IHC Executive Director Kristina A. Valaitis; the Mayor of Springfield, Timothy Davlin; and Abraham Lincoln scholar, G. Cullom Davis. A representative from the Governor’s office is scheduled to appear as well. A personal message from Studs Terkel commending the award recipients will be read at the reception.

Initiated by the IHC in 1999 to honor Illinois’ unrecognized champions of the humanities, the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award is awarded biennially to a diverse selection of educators, historians, and cultural advocates. The award was created as an honor for the state’s lesser know humanities devotees, those individuals in each community who read books to children after school or teach their neighbors to read, who keep the doors of the historical society open, helping to preserve the connection with the past and the present. The IHC chose to honor these individuals, those that have demonstrated, in Studs Terkel’s words, “The extraordinary accomplishments of ordinary people.” Each individual considered for the Studs Terkel award must be nominated for the honor by their mayor or village president.

Nominations for the next Studs Terkel Humanities Service Awards will be accepted in the summer of 2006. Nomination packets will be mailed directly to Illinois mayors and village presidents. Winners will be announced in early fall of 2006. For more information about the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award or the IHC, please visit, send an email to, or call 312.422.5580.

The Illinois Humanities Council is a nonprofit educational organization [501 (c) 3] dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Organized in 1973 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.


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