OGLESBY — A crowd of about 35 friends, relatives and college staff attended a ceremony Oct. 15 honoring Walter Durley and Hazel Marie Boyle posthumously for their contributions to Illinois Valley Community College.
The Boyles’ bequest of more than $620,000 to the IVCC Foundation helped fund major upgrades to the Dr. Mary Margaret Weeg Cultural Centre, such as theatre seating, wooden wall treatments, LED house lighting and ADA accessibility.
“Durley’s embrace of IVCC was part of his core belief that higher education enhances lives,” said IVCC President Jerry Corcoran, emcee for the event. “His contributions to IVCC in life will carry on long after his death thanks to the provisions he made for the college in his will.”
Corcoran credited Durley’s nieces Nancy Hopkins and Sally Boyle for helping facilitate the bequest and ensuring proper recognition for their uncle and aunt. Hopkins and Boyle are daughters of Durley’s brother Francis.
Also speaking at the event were Director of Community Relations and Development Fran Brolley, theatre director David Kuester and Student Government Association President Xavier Braboy. A plaque honoring the Boyles, to be displayed near the main entrance to the Cultural Centre, was unveiled by Foundation director O.J. Stoutner.
Mr. Boyle, who died at age 94 in 2008, served 22 years on the IVCC Foundation and nine as a college trustee. A 10-term Putnam County State’s Attorney, he practiced law for more than 70 years.
Hazel Marie, who died in 1994 at age 83, taught kindergarten at Hennepin Elementary School from 1955 until retirement in 1976.
“Reflecting on his remarkable life, Durley, ever the country gentleman, said modestly, ‘Everyone has to work to make a community strong,’” Brolley remarked in his closing. “We were blessed the Boyles called our community home and embraced this college as if it were their own.”