DANVILLE — Danville Area Community College recognized five individuals and an organization Friday that were instrumental to the founding of the college during a Founders’ Day luncheon and program.
This year’s honorees were Danville District 118, Peggy Gardner, the late Marjorie Holmes, Lou and Sybil Mervis, and Marilyn Satterwhite. Each honoree received a commemorative plaque with an ink drawing of the college on a 110-year-old slate tile from one of DACC’s original buildings. They also each received two proclamations from the 98th General Assembly, one from state Sen. Mike Frerichs and the other from state Rep. Chad Hays.
This was the fourth Founders’ Day celebration. The last one was in 2011.
The program’s master of ceremonies was Mike Hulvey of Neuhoff Broadcasting.
“Founders’ Day connects a lot of dots for people in the community and for students,” Hulvey said. “The college has been a bridge to the future for many.”
A committee planned the Founders’ Day activities as well as selected the honorees. The committee members were Lara Conklin, Chris Cornell, John Hoagland, Maggie Hoover, Alice Marie Jacobs, Dave Kietzmann, Carrie Thurman, Barb Todd and Tracy Wahlfeldt.
The purpose of Founders’ Day is to honor individuals and organizations that have been instrumental in helping the college become the institution it is today as well as appreciate the history of the college.
Fourteen speakers, including the honorees, made presentations during the two-hour-long fete.
DACC Trustee Dick Cheney recognized Danville District 118 as the founding organization of the college. When the University of Illinois decided after three years to close its extension site — the predecessor to the college — in 1949, District 118 supported the continuation of a local two-year college from 1949 to 1966 at Danville High School.
“In 1965, District 118 voted to separate from the college so it could run independently,” Cheney said. “The college wouldn’t be possible without the support of District 118.”