Blake Wood
Publish Date

The University of Illinois Springfield honored longtime NPR Illinois (WUIS) donors and volunteers Richard and Hannah McDaniel with the University of Illinois Foundation’s William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership during a Celebration of Philanthropy event on May 1 in the Student Union Ballroom.

Both are graduates of the University of Illinois. Hannah received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) in 1964. Richard earned his doctorate in dental surgery (DDS) from UIC’s College of Dentistry in 1965. After three years of military service in the Army, he returned and earned a master’s degree in orthodontics from the College in 1971. As a DDS student, he was a class officer, serving as class secretary. He was chosen Outstanding Clinician of the Orthodontic Class of 1971.

The couple married in 1965 and moved to Springfield in 1972. Richard spent more than 40 years at the Springfield-based orthodontic practice McDaniel and Sternstein, DDS retiring in 2013. Hannah worked with the client assessment unit of the Department of Human Services for nearly 25 years and also served periodically as a school nurse at several central Illinois locations. 

They have three adult children – Andy (Leanne) McDaniel and Sarah McDaniel, both of Denver, Colorado, and Sally McDaniel-Smith of Springfield. They have seven grandchildren – Emily, Lauren, Thomas, Hannah, Glen, Willow and Gideon.

Richard and Hannah are committed to the importance of philanthropy, and they demonstrate that commitment by supporting many worthwhile causes in the community. Those include the Springfield Public School Foundation, Kidzeum, World Affairs Council of Central Illinois, the Boy Scouts of America, the Illinois Symphony Chorus, Festival of Trees, Symphony Guild and the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the Grateful Daughters Circle of the Kings Daughters, PEO, the Springfield Art Association and others. They have been especially committed to music and the arts in our community over time. They are very active in their church, Central Baptist Church, including singing in the choir, serving on committees and recruiting volunteers. They have been members of the builders class for more than two decades. 

UIS - specifically NPR Illinois - has benefited from Richard’s and Hannah’s generous sharing of their time and financial resources. The station, initially known as WSSR, hit the airwaves in January 1975 and has been a key part of the public service mission of the University ever since.

The McDaniels can always be counted on for support during the station’s fund drives, and often have provided a match to inspire other listeners to give, too. They two have often been day sponsors for WUIS, funding underwriting spots to promote events for local arts groups, and often celebrated each other on birthdays and anniversaries. They are proud owners of a complete collection of WUIS mugs, and for years have had the auto-select dials in their vehicles tuned without fail to 91.9. They have been having “driveway moments” since the dials in their cars had to be tuned by twisting a dial until the static cleared.

For years, Hannah’s friendly voice was one of the donors heard when phone-a-thons were the way public media stations raised money during fund drives. She spent countless hours working pledge drives and encouraging others to give. She made “Jail or Bail” fun, volunteering herself to stay at work fundraising for public radio until she reached her goal – which she always did. Hannah served as the chair of the station’s digital conversion campaign and accompanied WUIS staff on visits with other donors to help raise the $40,000 needed for NPR Illinois to change its equipment to high-definition digital radio back in 2005.

Richard has also been committed to supporting public radio and other UIS events and activities, including being a strong advocate for the “This I Believe” essay contest at NPR Illinois for area high school students. Richard was instrumental in convincing the Rotary Club of Springfield Sunrise, of which he is a longtime member, to be a monetary sponsor of “This I Believe.” He has helped promote the program and been there to cheer on recipients for almost the entire 20-year history of the program.

The award is named after William E. Winter, CEO emeritus of the 7-Up company and member of the University of Illinois Foundation Board of Directors, who headed the volunteer component of the University’s first major campaign in the 1980s. In 1990, the Foundation established the William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership in his honor.

Past UIS recipients of the William E. Winter Award include Saul Morse, Karen Hasara, Mark and Julie Staley, Larry Shiner, David Farrell, Paul O’Shea, W. Robert Felker, Pamela McClelland, Cullom Davis, Bob Clary, Leonard Branson, Thom Serafin, Tom Marantz, Julie Kellner, Guerry Suggs and Michelle Suggs (deceased); Howard Humphrey (deceased), James Lundquist (deceased) and Clifford Greenwalt.