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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.
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.
Matthew was the jack of all trades for The Daily Illini this year, serving in three different positions simultaneously. He’s the definition of a hard worker and we can’t wait to see what he’ll do next. Matt’s reporting on how COVID-19 affected the surrounding Jewish community showcased his in-depth reporting prowess.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
Peter is so talented that it is hard to adequately describe all of the contributions he has made to Illini Media this year. He is a gifted designer and his creativity and professionalism are unmatched. Peter helped us launch our Creative Agency and he currently serves as the Agency Manager, overseeing a team of designers with client work. No task is too big for Peter to tackle and he has been instrumental to the Agency’s success.
Thomas J. Costello Memorial Award
in recognition of outstanding service to Illini Media and loyalty to its mission to provide students with a professional learning experience.
Thomas Costello served on the Illini Media Board of Directors from 1995 until his death in 2020. The award was established by Illini Media to honor his outstanding service to the company.
Jean Lachat (DI staff 1985-89, Photo editor 1988-89) has been one of Illini Media’s most active alums for three decades. Jean was instrumental in helping us start our Illini Media alumni group back in 1992 and her enthusiasm is boundless. She is the first to step up to help with event planning and fundraising efforts and always helps us spread the word about anything we are doing. Her wholehearted belief in the company’s mission and her willingness to help in any way she can make her stand out and deserving of this award in Tom’s honor.