Honorary Streets

The City of Champaign established the honorary street name program in 2000 as a way to honor individuals, organizations, entities, and events that either had a significant lineage to the City or had a significant cultural, historical, or humanitarian impact on the City. Honorary street designations have a geographical relationship to the honoree (i.e. the honoree lived or worked at the designated location).

How the City’s Honorary Street Program Works

The City’s  honorary street name designation policy was established by the City Council in 2000.  The program allows residents the opportunity to honor individuals, organizations, entities, and events that have made significant contributions to the community. The process starts with submitting an Honorary Street Name Designation Application Form to the City, so it can be reviewed and presented for City Council consideration. Honorary Street Sign for Tom Harrington, Sr. Way

Guidelines

  • Honorary street name designations should be limited to individuals, organizations, entities, and events that either had a significant lineage to the City or had a significant cultural, historical, or humanitarian impact on the City.
  • The requested location for the honorary street designation must have a geographical relationship to the honoree, i.e. honoree lived or worked at the location requested for recognition.
  • Honorary street designations are limited to one block in length.
  • There can only be one honorary street name designation per location.
  • There is a limit of four honorary street name designations per calendar year.
  • An honorary street name designation will last for 10 years, and is not eligible for renewal.
  • Honorary street names for any City employee who lost their life in the line of duty shall be assigned to such blocks as designated by the City Council.  Such designations shall be for an indefinite term and not be counted against the four designations per year limit.

Nomination Submission and ReviewHonorary Street Sign for Erma Bridgewater Way

  • Individuals or groups should start by completing an Honorary Street Designation Application Form.  Individual letters of support are encouraged and should be attached to the application. It may be helpful to contact your District’s City Council Member to request their assistance in being an advocate to your request.
  • Completed applications should be submitted to the City’s Public Works Department for review.
  • If the application is complete, Public Works will review and forward the application to the City Council for its consideration.
  • If there is sufficient support within Council (five or more members) for the request, the request will be forwarded to the City Manager so that a Study Session can be scheduled regarding the requested designation.Honorary Street Sign for REO Speedwagon Way
  • Public Works will prepare a Report to Council and present the designation request at a scheduled City Council Study Session meeting. Public input on the proposed designation will be available during that meeting.
  • If a majority of the City Council supports the designation, Public Works will prepare a Council Bill to approve the designation during a Regular City Council meeting.
  • Once the Council Bill is approved, Public Works will create and install signage to commemorate the honorary street name designation.
  • In addition to the signs created and installed at the designated location, up to four additional commemorative signs can be created and provided to the nominee for each designation.

Submit an Application Button


Map of Honorary Street Locations


Champaign’s Honorary Street Designations

*This designation honors City of Champaign employees who have lost their life in the line of duty in service to the residents of Champaign. These street designations are in place for an indefinite term.

On July 5, 2011, the City Council designated Baytowne Drive, between Boardwalk Drive and Prospect Avenue, as Honorary Clint Atkins Drive. This designation honors Mr. Clint Atkins for bringing growth, change, and economic development to the City of Champaign. He was the owner of The Atkins Group, a partner in Fox/Atkins Development and known as a visionary, entrepreneur, and a philanthropist.

He dedicated his life to making Champaign-Urbana the best it could be, through creating jobs, providing housing, and promoting the arts, education, and athletics at the University of Illinois. He was involved in the development of many subdivisions and shopping centers in Champaign, the U of I Research Park, and the I-Hotel. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On September 2, 2014, the City Council designated Plymouth Drive, between Galen Drive and Harrington Drive, as Honorary Keegan Bannon Way. This designation honors Keegan Bannon who passed away in 2010 at the age of 17. Over 2,000 people attended his memorial service and many spoke about Keegan and the example he left that people of all races and cultures are valuable. A scholarship has been established at Central High School and Keegan will forever give back to the young people in our community.

Keegan was at the top of his class academically, played first chair alto saxophone in the school’s band , mentored others, and qualified for the state tennis tournament. Keegan spent many hours practicing on the courts on Plymouth Drive at Morrissey Park as they are the closest tennis courts to Keegan’s home. Keegan’s brother, Leo, and his father, Peter, still play on these courts many times a year. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On March 16, 2021, the City Council designated Chester Street, between Walnut Street and Neil Street, as Honorary Black Lives Matter. This designation publicly declares the City’s support of the Black Lives Matter movement and social justice statement. Champaign joins other cities nationwide in showing solidarity against racism, injustice, and violence against the Black community and in support of the value of Black lives.  To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On June 15, 2010, the City Council designated Maple Street, between Prospect Avenue and Harris Avenue, as Honorary George Blackburn Street.  This designation honors Mr. George Blackburn for his service to the community.  Mr. Blackburn started Neighborhood Watch on West Maple Street and was captain for 16 years.  He was past commander of American Legion Post 24, and he was instrumental in getting flag symbols in the News-Gazette obituaries for veterans. He also attended the Citizen Police Academy and was part of the Champaign Park District crew which planted flowers and trees.  He served on the VFW Post 5520 Color Guard and was a 32d Degree Mason on the Western Star Lodge 2310, Danville Consistory.  Mr. Blackburn also served on the City of Champaign Public Works Advisory Board from April 2002 until his passing on May 1, 2010.  To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On May 18, 2021, the City Council designated Clark Street, between Prairie Street and Elm Street, as Honorary Harry Breen Way. This designation honors Mr. Harry Breen, UIUC Professor Emeritus, Artist, and Liturgical Designer. Mr. Breen joined the faculty of the School of Art and Design at the U of I in 1959 and retired in 1985. He has been deeply involved with the landscapes of Central Illinois and has become one of the area’s most significant artists. Mr. Breen’s rendition of prairie clouds is legendary, causing the name “Harry Breen Clouds” to be used by artists and photographers to describe large cloud formations typical of our area.

Mr. Breen combined painting and sculpture with interior design in his magnificent liturgical works in churches and cathedrals in the Midwest. He oversaw the renovation of Holy Cross Church receiving very positive reviews and resulting in being commissioned to design the renovations of seven more churches, including two cathedrals. Mr. Breen and his wife, Diane, were awarded Pro Ecclesia et Pontifices medals by Pope John Paul II. Mr. Breen’s art is included in national, regional, and local collections – public, corporate, and private. He is a humanitarian, much loved by his students and to whom he has been kind and generous. He is one of only a few local artists who have brought national and international fame to the community, as well as to the U of I. He is both a professional artist and supporter of local institutions to which he has dedicated hundreds of hours. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On June 4, 2013, the City Council designated Washington Street, between Fourth Street and Wright Street, as Honorary Erma Bridgewater Way. This designation honors Ms. Erma Scott Bridgewater. Over the course of her career, Ms. Bridgewater was employed as the Director of the Douglass Center, a Proofreader, an Outreach Worker, a Relocation Officer in the City’s Urban Renewal Program, and Housing Specialist for the Community Development Program. She received many honors, among them a “living legend” citation from Project 500.

In 2011, Bethel AME proclaimed one Sunday “Mrs. B. Day.” Former Champaign Mayor Jerry Schweighart gave Mrs. Bridgewater a Key to the City. Erma Scott Bridgewater was also a charter member of the local graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and a charter member of the local chapter of the National Council of Negro Women. Mrs. Bridgewater had been a member of Bethel A.M.E. Church since age 12 and a member of the Bethel Choir for over 70 years. “She was an extraordinary role model for all of us to look up to, and her legacy will no doubt have impact for generations to come. What a privilege it is for us to claim our community as her home.” To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On September 17, 2013, the City Council designated Columbia Avenue, between Fourth Street and Wright Street, as Honorary Reverend Arthur Burks Way. This designation honors Reverend Arthur Burks. In 1966, Reverend Burks was called to Morning Star Free Will Baptist Church and under his leadership built a new building. He left Free Will and organized and founded Community Christian Fellowship Baptist Church. He retired from pastoring at Chief Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church in 2001. After retirement, he united with New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and served as an associated minister at Jericho Missionary Baptist Church. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On August 3, 2004, the City Council designated Fourth Street, between Springfield Avenue and University Avenue, as Honorary Burnham Boulevard. This designation recognizes Burnham Hospital which served residents for almost a century. The hospital was built in 1894 and closed in 1992. This designation acknowledges the contributions made by Burnham Hospital to health and wellness of the City of Champaign. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On November 18, 2014, the City Council designated Fourth Street, between Springfield Avenue and Stoughton Street, as Honorary Burnham Nurses Way. This designation honors the 813 students who trained to become Registered Nurses (RNs) at the Julia F. Burnham School of Nursing. The Burnham nurses provided compassionate, knowledgeable care, from birth to death and any time in between. These nurses have served in each of the 50 states and in at least two foreign countries. Many also served in WWII’s Cadet Nurse Program, as well as in many of the war areas. The Julia F. Burnham Nursing Alumnae group has supported a scholarship fund for students in college to become nurses and has aided 30 recipients at the time of this dedication. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On July 10, 2007, the City Council designated State Street, between Hill Street and Park Street, as Honorary Austin Cloyd Way. This designation honors Miss Austin Cloyd for her profound sense of “giving back” as evidenced by the many volunteer and outreach activities she undertook as a high school student in Champaign. Miss Cloyd helped repair homes, distribute food to those in need, provide childcare, help with Vacation Bible School, and taught preschoolers how to swim. She spent four summers on the Appalachia Service Project (ASP) where youth help repair homes for families in need in Kentucky and West Virginia.

Together with her mom, Renee, she created a local mission project for youth based on the ASP model known as the Champaign Urbana Service Project (CUSP). Miss Cloyd visited the United Nations during a church trip and found her calling for international relations and world peace. Miss Cloyd moved with her family to Virginia during her senior year of high school and continued her active lifestyle by participating in the International Rights Organization, serving in the Model UN program and working as a lifeguard at the student sports center. Miss Cloyd tragically passed away on April 16, 2007, during the shootings at Virginia Tech. Austin’s favorite quote was “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. And if everyone does something, then together we can change the world.” To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On March 1, 2005, the City Council designated First Street, between University Avenue and Park Avenue, as Honorary Thomas Dodsworth Avenue. On August 7, 2018, the designation was renewed for an indefinite term. This honorary street pays tribute to Champaign Police Sergeant Thomas Dodsworth who lost his life in the line of duty in service to the residents of Champaign on July 6, 1913. Sergeant Dodsworth served on the Champaign Police Department for eight years. He was fatally injured while attempting to arrest two bootlegging suspects. During the call, Sergeant Dodsworth’s heroic actions credited him with saving the life of his police chief. Sergeant Dodsworth was survived by his wife. To learn more, read the original Report to Council or the Report to Council renewing this designation.

On January 16, 2001, the City Council designated the alley located between Church and Hill Streets (between Elm Street and Neil Street), as Honorary Doxology Lane. On March 1, 2011, the City Council renewed the designation. This honorary street recognizes the location of three former manses on West Hill Street for First Presbyterian, First United Methodist, and First Baptist Churches. The alley behind two of the former manses was informally called “Doxology Lane.” According to tradition, that is what the three pastors sang as they walked down the alley together on Sunday mornings. To learn more, read the Original Report to Council or the Report to Council renewing this designation. Note: Honorary Street designations are no longer eligible for renewal.

On May 15, 2001, the City Council designated Windsor Road, between Mattis Avenue and Duncan Road, as Honorary Jean Driscoll Way . On September 20, 2011, the City Council renewed this designation. This honorary street pays tribute to Jean Driscoll for her determination, commitment to excellence, and zest for life. An eight-time winner of the women’s wheelchair division of the Boston Marathon, Jean has also established the “Determined to Win” Foundation to promote her message of not giving up, giving it your all, and staying positive to give hope and inspiration to others. To learn more, read the Original Report to Council or the Report to Council renewing this designation. Note: Honorary Street Designations are no longer eligible for renewal.

On March 5, 2002, the City Council designated Park Avenue, between State Street and Randolph Street, as Honorary Roger Ebert Boulevard. On April 3, 2012, the designation was renewed. This honorary street pays tribute to Roger Ebert’s continued involvement in the community and dedication to the Virginia Theatre.

Mr. Ebert is a famous film critic, former University of Illinois student and Champaign resident, and Honorary Chair of the “Friends of Virginia” Theatre group, which committed to raising funds for the renovation of the Virginia. Mr. Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival brings 20,000 people from across the country to downtown Champaign each Spring. Mr. Ebert also returns to Champaign each Fall and Spring to conduct workshops for students and the general public. To learn more, read the original Report to Council or the Report to Council renewing this designation. Note: Honorary Street Designations are no longer eligible for renewal.

On August 13, 2002, the City Council designated Fourth Street, between Kirby Avenue and Peabody Drive, as Honorary Dike Eddleman Way. On May 15, 2012, the City Council renewed the designation. This honorary street pays tribute to Dike Eddleman’s loyalty and service to the University of Illinois and his community. Mr. Eddleman was a local sports legend at the U of I earning 11 varsity letters in football, basketball, and track. Later, he joined the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics as Associate Athletic Director and traveled extensively to raise funds for student athletes and to develop relationships statewide with Illini alumni and friends. Following retirement, he continued as Director Emeritus for the Fighting Illini Scholarship fund until his passing in 2001. To learn more, read the Original Report to Council or the Report to Council renewing this designation. Note: Honorary Street Designations are no longer eligible for renewal.

On May 15, 2018, the City Council designated John Street, between Fifth Street and Sixth Street, as Honorary Rabbi Ben Frankel Way. This designation recognizes Rabbi Frankel for his impact on the Jewish community in Champaign and beyond. In 1923, he founded the first Hillel in the world at the University of Illinois, which served the religious, educational, cultural, and societal needs of Jewish students on Campus. This Hillel allowed students to find their voice as Jews, giving them a place to thrive on Campus at a time when they were not allowed to join sororities, fraternities, or clubs, simply because they were Jewish. A Hillel building was built in 1949 elevating the City of Champaign to become a true “hub” for Jewish students and allowed for other faith groups to follow. Today there are over 500 Hillels for Jewish students across the world. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On July 24, 2018, the City Council designated Hill Street, between Randolph Street and State Street, as Honorary Robert Grossman Way. This designation recognizes Robert Grossman for his many restoration projects and charitable contributions to the community. Mr. Grossman restored the Masonic Temple in downtown Champaign into a luxury apartment building known as the Lodge on the Hill, preserving the heritage of the magnificent building, while also revitalizing the neighborhood. He also restored and preserved his historic home on University Avenue and transformed his Estate Sale store on Neil Street from a traditional block building into a beautiful community asset.

Robert donated significantly to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank and was an active charitable member of the Greater Community AIDS Project. Mr. Grossman also provided funding for the children of East Central Illinois ensuring their basic needs were met in order to focus on academically improving themselves. He supported the Backpack Buddies program, which provides food to children ensuring they would not be hungry while not in school and he provided warm clothes, coats, gloves, and shoes for entire elementary schools. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On January 22, 2013, the City Council designated Saber Drive, between Mattis Avenue and Olympian Drive, as Honorary Tom Harrington, Sr. Way. This designation honors Mr. Thomas E. Harrington, Sr., who truly exhibited traits of an outstanding citizen during his lifetime. Tom attended Holy Cross School, Champaign High School, and the University of Illinois where he earned both his undergrad and law degrees. He served as Champaign County Public Defender and then joined his father’s law firm where he was active for over 50 years. He was a tireless advocate for his clients. Those who opposed him respected his ability to fight for his side, yet maintain civility and decorum during sometimes difficult situations.

His business career involved real estate developments in Champaign, including Devonshire, Devonshire South, Stratford Park, Glenshire, and Trails at Brittany. Mr. Harrington had a lifetime pursuit to add a Catholic high school in Champaign. He was the lead fundraiser and cheerleader for the creation of St. Thomas More. His dream became reality when the school opened in 2000. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On October 1, 2019, the City Council designated Fifth Street, between Tremont Street and Grove Street, as Honorary Essie Harris Way. This designation honors Ms. Essie Harris who served the Champaign Public Library for 50 years from 1969 to 2019. She was appointed Douglass Branch Manager in 2003. In this role, she built partnerships with many community organizations including Krannert Performing Arts Center, Krannert Art Museum, Champaign Park District, Sisternet, the University of Illinois, and Parkland College. She received the Illinois Library Association’s 2018 Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award, which honors “sustained activity and contributions having a lasting impact on librarianship.”

She was named a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Central Illinois in 2004. Ms. Harris served on three community boards including the Family Service of Champaign County Board, Douglass Center Advisory Board, and C-U Area Project Board and served as Treasurer for the American Legion Post 559 Auxiliary. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On September 3, 2013, the City Council designated Crescent Drive, between John Street and Sangamon Street, as Honorary ‘Coach’ Hembrough Way. This designation honors Mr. Gary Hembrough, an influencing force in the lives of many Champaign residents over the 50+ years he lived in our City. He played football at the U of I from 1958-1962 and was on the “62 Rose Bowl team.” He went on to coach at the U of I and then our public school system, where he coached Centennial to its first state conference playoff in 1984. He was not only a coach, but also a mentor, friend, and father figure to many of our young people over the years. Coach was in many ways ‘bigger than life’. He was interested in many different and varied activities, but first and foremost, he was interested in people, especially his kids. He loved them and they loved him right back. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On February 1, 2005, the City Council designated First Street, between Kirby Avenue and St. Mary’s Road, as Honorary Lou Henson Court. This designation honors former University of Illinois head basketball coach (1975 – 1996), Lou Henson. Coach Henson coached Illinois for 21 seasons and his contributions included 779 career wins, 413 wins at the University of Illinois, and a Final Four appearance in 1988-89. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On December 6, 2011, the City Council designated Park Street, between Second Street and Third Street, as Honorary Catherine Hogue Way. This designation recognizes Ms. Catherine Hogue for her work as a community activist and long-time member of the Champaign County Board. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On July 5, 2000, the City Council designated Kirby Avenue, between Mattis Avenue and Champaign City Limits, as Honorary Illini Boulevard. On August 3, 2010, the City Council renewed this designation. This honorary street pays tribute to the contributions made by the University of Illinois to the City of Champaign, assists visitors from outside our community in identifying the main east-west artery leading to major University of Illinois events, and instills pride through name recognition. To learn more, read the Original Report to Council or the Report to Council renewing this designation. Note: Honorary Street designations are no longer eligible for renewal.

On August 15, 2006, the City Council designated White Street, between Prospect Avenue and New Street, as Honorary Billy Morrow Jackson Way. This designation honors Billy Morrow Jackson, an artist known for his work in drawing, watercolor, oil, and printmaking. After attending graduate school at the University of Illinois, he was appointed to the faculty of the art school and remained for 33 years until retirement. He is known for his paintings of Illinois prairie landscapes and for his murals. His works are included in the collections of the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Institution, among others. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On May 16, 2006, the City Council designated Fourth Street, between University Avenue and Bradley Avenue, as Honorary John Lee Johnson Way. This designation honors Mr. Johnson, a longtime leader of the Champaign County African American community and recognized civil rights activist. Mr. Johnson helped establish the Special Education Opportunities program in 1967 at the U of I and was involved in Project 500 which had the goal of bringing 500 Black and Latino students to the University in 1968. Johnson worked at the State Mental Health Department Adler Zone Center as an advocate for the poor in finding methods to strengthen and improve mental health, and he served as a Champaign City Council Member from 1973 to 1981.

He was involved in the construction of the Martin Luther King Subdivision and the Eads Street Subdivision in Urbana and remained a major part of the ongoing reconstruction of North First Street. Johnson also helped organize families who successfully sued the Champaign Unit 4 School District to provide equitable school facilities. Mr. Johnson received many awards for civic involvement including the Milton M. Coehn Award from Citizen Action/Illinois, Outstanding Community Service Award from the National Council of African American Men and the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, the James R. Burgess Humanitarian Award from the Champaign County Board, and was saluted by the Champaign-Urbana Ministerial Alliance for 40 years of activism against bigotry and prejudice and for removing barriers to achieving the American Dream. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On February 19, 2013, the City Council designated Sixth Street, between Pilgrim Baptist Church and Eureka Street, as Honorary Rev. W.B. Keaton Way. This designation honors Rev. William Benjamin Keaton, who began his pastoral ministry at the Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in January 1969 and also served our greater community in many capacities during that time. Rev. Keaton was a long-time opinion column contributor to the News-Gazette, expressing his opinions and concerns as they related to the best interest of the African American community. He was one of the first African Americans in the C-U community to host a live broadcast on the WEFT radio station.

He played an instrumental part in the University of Illinois’ Learning Training Program designed to increase recruitment and employment of African Americans at the U of I. Rev. Keaton was also instrumental in the implementation of the Consent Decree in Champaign School District Unit 4. This action resulted in the correction of long-standing injustices related to the segregation of African American children throughout the district. He served as a community liaison/advocate for many young people involved in the local court system, as well as an advocate for persons experiencing difficulty with their employment. Rev. Keaton was an advocate for all mankind, with a special investment in elevating our African American community. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On June 5, 2007, the City Council designated Park Court as Honorary Ken Kesler Way. This designation honors Mr. Kenneth Kesler for his service to the Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District Board for 40+ years, serving as chairman from 1971-2002. Through his leadership, the district is a recognized leader in many areas of conservation including filter strip establishment, development of an 88-acre prairie restoration, and a 67-acre wetland restoration. The district is also a pioneer in computer use and GIS systems to improve conservation and communication. Mr. Kesler has been recognized as a News-Gazette Farm Leader of the Year, Prairie Farmer Master Farmer Award, and Outstanding District Director. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On April 14, 2015, the City Council designated West Hill Street, between Elm Street and Prairie Street, as Honorary Alison Krauss Way. This designation honors Ms. Alison Krauss, a musician who grew up in Champaign. She has won Grammy Awards, International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, Country Music Association Awards, Gospel Music Association Awards, CMT Music Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards, and a Canadian Country Music Award. Ms. Krauss’ work has been heralded as significantly renewing interest in bluegrass music, and her reach has far extended a single musical genre and includes contributions from her voice; her playing abilities on the fiddle, piano and mandolin; and her ability to raise other artists’ performance to a higher level as a producer. Beyond her musical expertise, she is a shining role model for aspiring artists, particularly young women. In 2011, she performed a concert at the Virginia Theatre with all proceeds benefitting the local not-for-profit, Crisis Nursery. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On January 16, 2001, the City Council designated Country Fair Drive, between Bradley Avenue and Springer Drive, as Honorary Robert L. Lienhart Drive. On April 5, 2011, this designation was renewed. This honorary street pays tribute to Robert L.  Lienhart for his involvement in the development and management of the prominent commercial/industrial subdivision, Mattis Commercial Park. He developed high subdivision standards resulting in a high quality, aesthetically appealing park which is an asset to our community. This designation is a tribute to Bob’s hard work, dedication and professionalism to his clients and a salute for he and his family to cherish. To learn more, read the original Report to Council or the Report to Council renewing this designation. Note: Honorary Street Designations are no longer eligible for renewal.

On September 15, 2006, the City Council designated Beardsley Avenue, between Fourth Street and Champaign City Limits, as Honorary Jack McDuff Way. This designation honors “Brother” Jack McDuff, a famed and talented musician born in Champaign. Mr. McDuff started out on bass and piano, but learned to play Hammond B-3 when a club owner asked if he could play it and McDuff feared the answer “no” would lose him his job. He became one of the most soulful players of the Hammond B-3 in the 50s and 60s when soul/jazz and the Hammond were coming into their own.

Early in his career, he played around town at Katsinas and Amvets and as his career took off, he returned to play in Champaign. He made over 75 recordings on various labels. His most well-known band was “The Heatin’ System” and he toured with variations of that band most of his life. Mr. McDuff recorded more than 60 albums. Among his most well known are The Honeydripper, Tough ‘Duff Brother Jack Meets the Boss and Sophisticate Funk. Jack McDuff died on January 23, 2001, at the age of 74 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On July 15, 2014, the City Council designated Bradley Avenue, between State Street and Elm Street, as Honorary Edward T. McGhee Way. This designation honors Suffragan Bishop Edward T. McGhee for his impact on the C-U community for over 30 years. He continuously displays gracious acts of humanitarianism through his giving and love for encouraging, inspiring, and motivating people to develop themselves into positive community members. He founded the White-Henderson-Cummings scholarship fund, enabling 25+ high school and under-represented students the opportunity to attend college. Mr. McGhee also founded A & O Development Corporation that produces free community computer classes, one-on-one tutoring, and mentor/mentee programs. He has also partnered with numerous not-for-profit organizations in the community.

Mr. McGhee has faithfully committed himself to pastoring the Church of the Apostolic Authority congregation for nearly 35 years. Reflected through his community initiatives, his ministry promotes spiritual growth, educational excellence, and faith-based community development. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On August 17, 2004, the City Council designated Paula Drive, between Mattis Avenue and McKinley Avenue, as Honorary June Mank Way. This designation honors June Mank for the countless contributions she made to the community as both a dedicated citizen and 22-year City Council Member. She organized volunteers to drive cancer patients to and from the hospital and drove senior citizen neighbors to the YMCA for exercise classes. She was involved in the revamping of Shadowood Mobile Home Park, the City’s Drug Elimination Group, and Concerned Citizens for a Better Neighborhood. She was tireless in her generosity both in her private and public life and “she wasn’t bashful about telling you what she thought.” To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On March 1, 2005, the City Council designated Kenwood Road, between William Street and Sheridan Street, as Honorary Nathaniel K. Moore Road. This designation honors Corporal Nathaniel K. Moore’s contribution and sacrifice made to the United States of America while serving in the Marine Corps. Nathaniel K. Moore, 22, died on January 26, 2005, in the CH-53E helicopter crash near Ar Rutbah, Iraq. Moore was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Hawaii. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On September 3, 2013, the City Council designated Galen Drive, between Lancaster Drive and Ross Drive, as Honorary Danny Nardi Way. This designation honors Danny Nardi who was known for his positive attitude, his unwillingness to give up, and his desire to participate in everyday activities the best he could while bravely fighting cancer. He enjoyed participating in the Central Illinois Children’s Chorus, Champaign Little League, piano lessons, Aikedo, and riding his bike to the Champaign Public Library. He loved scouting the best local places to share special treats with friends and family. Danny passed away six days before his 11th birthday. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On April 3, 2007, the City Council designated Stadium Drive, between Neil Street and First Street, as Honorary Tim Nugent Way. This designation honors Mr. Tim Nugent, advocate for disability rights and accessibility. Under the direction and guidance of Mr. Nugent, for 56 years the Division of Disability Resources and Education Services has helped nearly 3,000 students with disabilities pursue and earn undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees from the University of Illinois.

Nugent’s achievements are truly monumental in both breadth and depth. He oversaw numerous programmatic “firsts” allowing the University of Illinois to be a leader in providing educational opportunities for persons with disabilities. Mr. Nugent’s legacy is visible wherever the blue and white international symbol of accessibility is displayed. Indeed, his pioneering work in advancing the fields of rehabilitation and education have had profound impact upon the societal integration and participation of person with disabilities. As a direct result of his leadership, the U of I continues to be recognized as one of the most, if not the most, disability friendly university in the nation. For almost 60 years, under the direction of Tim Nugent, the University has helped individuals with disabilities fulfill their goals and realize their potential. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On June 1, 2021, the City Council designated University Avenue, between Neil Street and Chestnut Street, as Honorary Christopher Oberheim Avenue for an indefinite term. This designation honors Champaign Police Officer Christopher Oberheim who lost his life in the line of duty in service to the residents of Champaign on May 19, 2021. Officer Oberheim started his career with the City of Champaign Police Department in September 2008. During the following thirteen years, Officer Oberheim received two medals of valor for courageous acts of selfless bravery and other departmental awards demonstrating his exemplary career. He served with pride as a Patrol Officer and a member of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team. Officer Oberheim was deeply devoted to his family and was proud of their accomplishments. He is survived by his wife and four children. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On April 3, 2007, the City Council designated Country Fair Drive, between Springfield Avenue and University Avenue, as Honorary Keith Page Drive. This designation honors Mr. Keith Page, television weatherman on WICD for 40+ years. Keith loved to stand in front of the green wall and tell about high pressure systems and cold fronts moving into the area, but maybe more to his liking were the poems he opened the forecast with. Each night a new and original greeting from Keith, sometimes written to topical news, sometimes to his dear Illini, these words of wisdom always gave us an insight in what was to come as we stepped outside. Mr. Page also appeared on WCIA as Marshall Magic, a cowboy magician, who utilized rubber bands and playing cards for his tricks.

He taught at Edison Middle School before his nearly 20-year stint at Centennial High School. He brought a wonderful combination of talents to class becoming an institution in the community. He directed more than 100 shows at Centennial involving thousands of students. Keith wore many hats and wore them well. He was also a husband, father, grandfather, and very good friend. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On April 3, 2018, the City Council designated Grove Street, between Fifth Street and Sixth Street, as Honorary Bishop Robert L. Perry, Jr. This designation honors Bishop Robert L. Perry, Jr., for his service to our community. He has served as the Senior Pastor at Grove Street Church for over 34 years. Bishop Perry promotes the adherence to values, the rules and laws of the land, and standing for rightfulness of all mankind. Under Bishop Perry’s leadership, the church has been supportive to the City and activities by supplying holiday food baskets to residents and by supporting neighborhood agencies with clothing, funds, and volunteers. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On March 3, 2015, the City Council designated Kenwood Road, between William Street and Sheridan Street, as Honorary Nicholas Pica Way. This designation honors Nicholas Pica, a young man who passed away unexpectedly at age 21 from an unknown heart condition. Nicholas spent his life in Champaign at Centennial High School, then Parkland College, then the University of Illinois. He was most passionate about playing, officiating, and coaching soccer. His playing career was spent at Centennial High School’s soccer complex near the location of the designation on Kenwood Road. Nicholas’ senior quote in the yearbook was, “Everybody smiles in the same language, so smile, you’ll make someone’s day.” To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On January 16, 2001, the City Council designated Main Street, between Chestnut Street and Neil Street, as Honorary REO Speedwagon Way. On August 2, 2011, the City Council renewed this designation. This honorary street pays tribute to REO Speedwagon, a local band which has realized success in the music industry for thirty years. The band included a picture of the historic Vriner’s Confectionary at 55 E. Main Street, Champaign, on the back cover of their T.W.O. album. To learn more, read the Original Report to Council or the Report to Council renewing this designation. Note: Honorary Street Designations are no longer eligible for renewal.

On May 26, 2009, the City Council designated Park Street, between Wright Street and Fourth Street, as Honorary Allen Rivers, Sr., Street. This designation honors Sergeant Allen Rivers for his service to the City of Champaign. He was the first Black person to serve as a Police Officer in Champaign and the first Black person to achieve rank of Sergeant. He was also a member of Bethel A.M.E. Church where he served as a Stewart and a Trustee.

He distinguished himself as Past Grand Master of Lone Star Lodge #18 Prince Hall Mason of Champaign; Past Potentate of Sudan Temple #93 of Champaign; 33 Mason of Menelik Consistory #49, Springfield, IL; Past Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the State of Illinois and Jurisdiction. He served on various Grand Lodge committees and was the Grand Auditor Emeritus; an Honorary Chartered Member of American Legion Post #559, Champaign; Past Grand Auditor of Elks Lodge #619; Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #17, Champaign; and an employee of Marine National Bank of Champaign. He also served on the Champaign Park District Board, was a member of the Urban League, and was an Honorary Commissioner for the Champaign Park District. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On August 21, 2012, the City Council designated Sixth Street, between Washington Street and Grove Street, as Honorary L. Rose Way. This designation honors Mr. Lum Rose who was co-owner of the minority-owned barber shop, Rose & Taylor’s Barber Shop. Mr. Rose loved to cut hair and to talk with his customers. He was known for running a respectful shop, not allowing loud talking or profanity. He earned respect by giving it and was a trusted friend, businessman, and mentor. “No one could cut hair like Lum.” To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On December 6, 2011, the City Council designated Bradley Avenue, between Carver Drive and Champaign City Limits, as Honorary Reverend Lundy Savage Way. This designation honors Reverend Lundy Savage for his commitment to building Mt. Olive Baptist Church for 40 years and his devotion to his congregation. Rev. Savage served as the former president of the state convention of the 8-million-member National Baptist Convention USA and held a top post in the national organization. He was highly regarded on the national level as well as in the state. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On August 3, 2021, the City Council designated Fifth Street, between Tremont Street and Eureka Street, as Honorary Walter Smith Way. This designation honors Mr. Walter Smith for his dedication to the youth in this community. Mr. Smith initiated programs to ensure lower income children were fed over the summer. He believed that children everywhere deserve the chance to reap the benefits of enhanced nutrition. Mr. Smith also initiated a football program for Black youth at the Champaign Park District, which served as a safe haven from gangs. This program gave children a chance to be children and to not worry about what was going on in the streets or about being hassled because they wanted to play football. Mr. Smith’s programs and leadership will continue to make Champaign a better place for years to come. He loved helping people within Champaign and anywhere else that he could. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On September 24, 2009, the City Council designated Fifth Street, between Grove Street and Bradley Avenue, as Honorary Joe Somers Street. This designation honors Rev. Joe Somers, the first Black elected official for Champaign County. Mr. Somers was elected Champaign County Justice of the Peace for the Champaign District in 1961. He also served as Republican precinct committeeman for northeast Champaign. Mr. Somers owned and operated Dogwood Restaurant and Party Cab Co. He was a member of Pilgrim Baptist Church in Champaign. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On September 3, 2013, the City Council designated Market Street, between University Avenue and Logan Street, as Honorary Vicki Stewart Way. This designation recognizes Ms. Vicki Stewart for the contributions she gave to our City. In her role as Director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, there was a 75-percent increase in volunteers and volunteer stations during her tenure. Ms. Stewart’s personal accomplishments and community service have been recognized with several awards, including the Governor’s Award for Unique Achievement in 1999, the Urbana Masonic Lodge #157 Community Builders Award in 2001, and selection by the Illini Radio Group as one of the “20 Outstanding Women You Should Know” in 2006. She also served on the County Board and Mass Transit Board advocating for accessibility in County Buildings, buses, and routes. She also served on the Citizens for Homes Board advocating for housing issues for seniors and persons with disabilities. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On September 26, 2006, the City Council designated Fremont Street, between Main Street and Washington Street, as Honorary Loren Tate Way. This designation honors Mr. Loren Tate who has been the foundation of the News-Gazette’s sports department for more than 40 years. Growing up, his dream was to cover University of Illinois athletics. When he got the chance after graduating from the U of I, he jumped at it and has been doing award-winning work since. Nationally, he is recognized as the go-to expert on Illinois athletics. Locally, he is considered the voice of the fan. He has won countless writing awards, both national and state, and named Employee of the Year at the News-Gazette and recipient of the newspaper’s first Publisher Award. Loren has also been a longtime radio voice of the Illini and host of the popular “Saturday Sportsline” on WDWS 1400 AM. He also worked as a sports anchor on local TV. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On March 1, 2005, the City Council designated University Avenue, between Chestnut Street and First Street, as Honorary Robert L. Tatman Avenue. On August 7, 2018, the designation was renewed for an indefinite term. This honorary street pays tribute to Champaign Police Officer Robert L. Tatman who lost his life in the line of duty to the residents of Champaign on November 25, 1967. Officer Tatman served on the Champaign Police Department for five years. While making a traffic stop, he suffered a gunshot wound with his own duty revolver. Officer Tatman’s murderer has never been identified. He was survived by his wife and four children. To learn more, read the original Report to Council or the Report to Council renewing this designation.

On May 18, 2010, the City Council designated University Avenue, between Elm Street and State Street, as Honorary Mable Thomas Street. This designation honors Ms. Mable Thomas, a longtime coordinator of neighborhood groups and a kind and dedicated public servant. Over her tenure with the City of Champaign, Ms. Thomas helped organize hundreds of neighborhood groups. She was instrumental in expanding the City’s Neighborhood Watch Program and organized the popular National Night Out event. With the support of the City Council, she created the Neighborhood Small Grant Program to fund neighborhood-based problem solving and improvement projects. She initiated an Annual Neighborhood Leaders Meeting to educate residents about City government. She was also very active in a number of community organizations and activities including the Triad SALT, Crimestoppers, Safe Kids Coalition, CommUnity Matters, and the First Street Farmers Market. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On March 6, 2001, the City Council designated Sangamon Drive, between Crescent Drive and Kenwood Road, as Honorary Robert F. Toalson Drive. On April 5, 2011, the City Council renewed this designation. This honorary street pays tribute to Bob Toalson for his devotion to our community and dedication to making Champaign a great place for everyone to call home. His 30-year career with the Champaign Park District brought open spaces, facilities, and beauty to our community. Bob has provided leadership to many community organizations, collaborated ideas with local agency leaders, and is regarded as professional, ethical, fair, and sincere. To learn more, read the original Report to Council or the Report to Council renewing this designation. Note: Honorary Street Designations are no longer eligible for renewal.

On February 19, 2002, the City Council designated Windsor Road, between Neil Street and Prospect Avenue, as Honorary Jim Turpin’s Penny Lane. On June 5, 2012, the City Council renewed this designation. This honorary street pays tribute to Jim Turpin for his role as ambassador of radio broadcasting of Illinois sports, of the County of Champaign, and to his family and all of us. Mr. Turpin has served the local WDWS radio station as general manager for over 20 years, was the U of I sports play-by-play man and talk show host on Penny for Your Thoughts and Saturday Morning Sports Line. He is known as the “Voice of the Fighting Illini.” To learn more, read the original Report to Council or the Report to Council renewing this designation. Note: Honorary Street Designations are no longer eligible for renewal.

On March 6, 2001, the City Council designated Bloomington Road, between State Street and Hagan Street, as Honorary Veterans Parkway. On April 5, 2011, the designation was renewed. This honorary street pays tribute to the many citizens of Champaign who have served our country, provides a memorial to all veterans, and provides an additional landmark to help out-of-town visitors to find the American Legion Post 24 and VFW Post 5520. It also provides a source of pride for members of the American Legion and VFW as they travel to their respective Posts. To learn more, read the original Report to Council or the Report to Council renewing this designation. Note: Honorary Street Designations are no longer eligible for renewal.

On November 20, 2001, the City Council designated Market Street, between University Avenue and Logan Street, as Honorary VFW Post 5520 Drive. This designation honors the living and deceased members of VFW Post 5520 for their service and sacrifices made to ensure our country’s freedom. VFW Post 5520 continues to serve by giving monetary contributions to several local organizations each year and performing military honor rights for veterans in the area. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On November 18, 2018, the City Council designated Fourth Street, between Tremont Street and Grove Street, as Honorary WBCP Radio Way. This designation honors the first Black-owned radio station in Central Illinois, WBCP Radio. This radio station is owned by Black men who have shaped the history of the Champaign community via contributions to business, education, and commerce. The radio station has provided a space where the concerns of the minority community are expressed and has served as a platform for the voice of the people. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On March 5, 2013, the City Council designated Eureka Street, between Fourth Street and Sixth Street, as Honorary Vera L. Wesley Way. This designation honors Ms. Vera Wesley for her crusade to eradicate drugs and crime in her neighborhood. She is credited for organizing and founding Concerned Citizens for Better Neighborhoods (CCBN). She organized and led marches to demonstrate the determination to fight crime. She looked for opportunities to build and strengthen ties between citizens with problems or information and community leaders with suggestions for results. She also became a striking force for education in her community, building the After School Tutorial Program. Spiraling from the tutoring program, CCBN implemented other youth programs geared at teaching youths to be self-sufficient including, The Early Birds, For Boys Only, Let’s Talk Program, and an etiquette class.

She organized trips, activities, and events for children who normally wouldn’t get to attend. Due to her countless efforts to eliminate drugs on her streets, Ms. Wesley was named “Drug Buster of the Year” by USA Today in 1993. She was invited to the White House to meet President Bill Clinton. Ms. Wesley took aggressive and bold steps to eradicating drugs and crime from her neighborhood by not just talking, but doing. To learn more, read the Report to Council.

On November 18, 2014, the City Council designated Elm Street, between University Avenue and Park Street, as Honorary Jim Yost’s Way. This designation honors Mr. Jim Yost, funeral director for Owens Funeral Home who worked tirelessly at his profession, no matter how many weekends and holidays were sacrificed, always putting the needs of others before his own. Jim ran the business with integrity and honor, treating every person with the respect they deserved because he believed “every person is entitled to a decent burial.” Jim also gave countless hours and monetary donations in support of the many civic, religious, and service organizations that make this community a great place to live. During his time as owner of the funeral home, Mr. Yost was dedicated to maintaining the historic significance of the Trevett mansion. To learn more, read the Report to Council