Memorial Awards
Memorial Awards2019-08-08T18:16:54+00:00

Raymond Clamage Memorial Award

in recognition of being the staff member who contributed the most to the progress and quality of The Daily Illini during the year.

Raymond Clamage served on the Daily Illini Staff from 1942-43 and was killed in action in World War II. The award was established by his family to honor his life.

For the past four years, Rachael has shown a tremendous commitment to The Daily Illini. This year especially, Rachael has been an integral part of improving the digital presence of the publication in her role as managing editor for online. In addition, Rachael spearheaded the launch of the first Daily Illini mobile application, working tirelessly to ensure its success. Rachael cares deeply about the entire publication and is always looking for new ways to improve the website, the app and the print edition.

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS

John C. Trebilcock Memorial Award

in recognition of the Best Piece of Investigative Reporting by a member of The Daily Illini staff during the year.

Professor Trebilcock was a member of the College of Journalism faculty teaching reporting and editing from 1948 until his death in 1955.

Brooke’s longform piece on non-binary student life on campus sheds light on a larger social issue that is equally as prominent on campus. Brooke’s ability to connect with her sources yet maintain objective is a rare and important quality of any investigative journalist. Around the office, Brooke shows extreme professionalism and has been an important component of ensuring ethics within the entire staff in her role as Brand Manager.

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS

Jeff Ponczak Memorial Award

in recognition of being the member of The Daily Illini sports staff who has contributed the most to teamwork, the spirit of friendship, and an unabashed love of sports and fun, as well as quality in reporting sports at the paper during the year.

Jeff Ponczak served as a writer and editor on The Daily Illini sports staff from 1987-91. This award was established by Jeff’s friends and family in June 2008 to honor him and support future sports journalists after Jeff lost a long battle with congenital heart problems .

Miles has been an outstanding member of the sports staff for some time. He is consistently on top of things and is always ready to step up whenever he sees it necessary. Miles always contributes useful ideas and has been a tremendous help in ensuring the success of the sports section.

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS

Brett H. Lerner Memorial Award

in recognition of being the staff member who contributed the most to the progress and quality of Illini Drive during the year.

Brett Lerner was a DI sports reporter and the co-host of WPGU’s Illini Drive. He was killed in a tragic car accident on his way to cover a sporting event in October, 2015. This award was established by Brett’s father in recognition of Brett’s dedication and contributions to WPGU and The Daily Illini. You can read more about Brett here.

Eli displays exceptional motivation and commitment to both Illini Drive and The Daily Illini sports staff. Throughout his time with Illini Media Company, Eli has shown true promise as a multimedia journalist. He is always looking for new and creative ways to showcase and tell stories. He has a great personality both on and off the air. He is an incredible teacher to younger staff members, leaving behind a legacy that I am sure Brett would be proud of.

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS

Tom Thomas, Jr. Memorial Award

in recognition of being the member of the WPGU-FM 107.1 staff who made the greatest contribution to the quality and the betterment of the radio station during the year.

Tom Thomas, Jr. worked at WPGU from 1974-76, and in later years was one of Illini Media’s most active alumni. This award was established by his friends and family, in recognition of his dedication and contributions to WPGU and Illini Media after his sudden death in May of 2008.

Shannon Fricke acted as WPGU’s Assistant Program Director and Social Media Director since Spring 2017. She helped the station in training our on-air personalities, booking guests for the station, and re-vamping the social media department. She also was instrumental in helping WPGU staff interact outside of the studio and she was the creator and host of WPGU’s Can I Kick It, a hip-hop show with a great social media following and support from many Illinois hip-hop artists.

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS

Gerald S. Cohen Memorial Award

in recognition of being the member of the business staff who made the greatest contribution to the betterment of The Daily Illini during the year.

Gerald S. Cohen worked on The Daily Illini business staff and this award was established by his parents after his untimely death in 1956 in memory of his contributions and dedication to The Daily Illini business staff.

Jacob is so talented that it is hard to put into words how much his contributions to the business side of operations this past year has positively impacted Illini Media. Jacob has a unique and vast array of skills and insight that not only constantly impressed us but clients and community partners as well. The work he was able to accomplish during his time will be valuable and instrumental in our success.

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS