Jacksonville Area Hall of Fame Expands By 7 Members, Preparations Being Made For June 7 Induction Ceremony

By Benjamin Cox on April 11, 2023 at 9:33am

A mayor, a county commissioner, two men with strong ties to the local radio scene, a bank’s Chief Executive Officer, a real estate agent and a resident historian have been chosen for enshrinement with the Jacksonville Area Hall of Fame’s 2023 Induction Class.

Seven total will be inducted into the 12th Class of the Hall of Fame, which is the first class since 2012. Joy French Becker, Robert “Bob” Chipman, Commissioner Ginny Fanning, Ron Gray, Jerry Symons, Mayor Ron Tendick, and Art Wilson were selected from a pool that included more than 100 names during a months-long process by a 9-member board.

John Buchanan, of the Hall of Fame board, says all 7 of the nominees will be represented at the ceremony on June 7th at Hamilton’s 110 North East. Buchanan says now is the time to start getting your tickets for the ceremony: “Tickets have been distributed to a number of sellers, including WLDS/WEAI and our board of directors. You can contact me if you’re interested or you can mail in a check to our post office box, PO Box 645, Jacksonville, Illinois 62651. They are $25 each.”

Other ticket outlets include County Market, Farmers State Bank & Trust Company, Petefish, Skiles & Company Bank, and the Jacksonville Municipal Building.

Buchanan says the Hall of Fame board is in the process of getting the medallions for the nominees as well as plaques that will be given away either to the inductee or representatives of the inductee at the program. The board is also putting the finishing touches on the commemorative programs, which are being made possible by several local sponsors.

The next step for the committee, Buchanan says, is getting ready for the Class of 2025. Buchanan says the top 30 names that were submitted during this current election cycle will be held over for consideration in the 2025 class. Buchanan urges anyone who missed the deadline for nominating someone this time around to start thinking about that nomination for 2025 right now: “There are some great candidates in the 30 that we are holding over. For those folks who took time to make those nominations, stand by because there is a great likelihood that some of those names that were nominated are going to be seriously considered and maybe named to the Hall of Fame in 2025. Also, we’re going to leave the nominations open. There will be a nomination form in our booklet. If it is on your mind now and you’d like to nominate someone for the next class, feel free to do so.”

Buchanan says the board of directors will review the nomination process, board membership, and meeting times after the ceremony in June and then go through a dormant period. He says the group will pick things back up in August when they hold their annual meeting and elect officers for the board of directors for the next cycle. Buchanan hopes the board will meet quarterly after the annual meeting until they start Hall of Fame selection process next July.