The inductees are:
- Education: Joseph Hernandez, 80, of Aurora
- Performance: : Barbara Schafer, 65, of Burr Ridge
- Community Service: Julius W. Hegeler, II, 89, of Danville
For 24 years, Mr. Hernandez worked as professor of Ceramics and Art at Waubonsee Community College prior to his retirement as Associate Professor Emeritus. Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Hernandez received the NISOD Excellence in Teaching Award, the Illinois Community College Teacher of the Year Award and the Distinguished Service in the Profession of Art Education Award from the Illinois Art Education Association. He has traveled across Europe, Asia and South America, allowing him to bring his cultural knowledge to the classroom and enriching his student’s education.
Mrs. Schafer creates dance routines that focus on aerobic fitness and wellness for individuals of any physical ability, be it her “Sit and Be Fit” wheelchair-bound students or students that have an increased range of motion. What began as a Friday morning fitness class that brought together dance and exercise in a fun and exciting way soon became the senior dance troupe, K-B Adorables, led by Mrs. Schafer. K-B Adorables have performed in Illinois and around the country before national conferences, college sports games and on television. Intergenerational programs created by Mrs. Schafer connect the dance troupe with school children, Scout troops and other dance groups to underline the importance of having a regular fitness regimen at any stage of life.
As a lifelong resident of Danville, Mr. Hegeler has shown tremendous support for community-based programs in his town through his financial contributions to groups focusing on education, environmental training, health care, historic preservation, the arts and aiding individuals with disabilities. Mr. Hegeler’s generous donations and dedication to the Danville community have made a significant impact in the lives of many people, prompting the Illinois General Assembly to pass House Resolution 892 in March of 2014 in recognition of Mr. Hegeler’s contributions to the community.
For more information on the Senior Illinois Hall of Fame, contact the Illinois Department on Aging Senior HelpLine