WGLT Announces 2019 Hall of Fame Class
The WGLT Hall of Fame recognizes those who have made contributions integral to WGLT’s ongoing excellence in public service to the Illinois State University, Bloomington-Normal, and McLean County communities.
The 2019 class features five individuals who have made invaluable contributions to WGLT over the years as administrators, on-air personalities, staff, and donors. The 2019 WGLT Hall of Fame honorees are:
Bruce Bergethon, administrator and on-air personality. Bergethon was WGLT’s general manager from 1990 to 2015. During his tenure, Bergethon transitioned WGLT in numerous ways, including the station’s evolution from a music to news format, immense changes in technology and content delivery systems, as well as the implementation of a more powerful transmitter that increased the station’s range. Bergethon also expanded the WGLT development function, adding staff and helping to expand private support for WGLT from five to 50 percent of the annual operating budget.
Bergethon also hosted the weekly folk music program Acousticity for 27 years, a creative outlet to his lifelong musical passion.
Pat Peterson, staff. Peterson served as WGLT’s Individual Giving Director from 1996-2019. Peterson built and grew the program to a nearly half a million-dollar annual fundraising operation, which accounts for half of WGLT’s yearly operating budget. During her 23 years at WGLT, Peterson developed and executed more than 50 fund drives and campaigns to keep the station financially sound, on the air, and growing. She also worked tirelessly alongside station leadership and members of the WGLT Friends Council on an emergency campaign to raise $75,000 to replace the station’s antenna in 2015.
William Sulaski, volunteer and major donor. Sulaski is a longtime supporter of WGLT, starting with his tenure at Sulaski & Webb, CPAs, in Bloomington, where his organization provided in-kind services for the station’s annual audit. Sulaski is a former Illinois State University Board of Trustees chairperson, WGLT Friends Council member and has served as an all-around trusted advisor to station leadership providing guidance and mentoring for decades. Sulaski, alongside his wife Susan, is also a generous financial contributor to WGLT, including serving as an early funder of the upcoming overhaul of the WGLT master control studio.
Sulaski is a graduate of Bradley University and since moving to Bloomington-Normal, has had a successful accounting career spanning 50 years and has been very active in the community serving on various boards and nonprofit organizations.
Drake Zimmerman, corporate supporter. Zimmerman, as owner of First Allied Securities, Inc. in Normal, is one of the longest continuous underwriters on WGLT. For more than 35 years, Zimmerman has supported on-air programming and events surpassing $100,000. Zimmerman’s passion for Illinois State University and WGLT is top notch and serves as a role model for other community businesses.
In addition to this year’s Hall of Fame inductees, WGLT is also honoring Danny Hajek with its Alumni Award. This award honors an Illinois State University student worker or intern who started their career at WGLT. Hajek is an Illinois State class of 2011 graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences with a degree in English and a minor in mass communication.
While at WGLT, Hajek was a student announcer hosting late-night jazz and producing “Delta” Frank Black, another WGLT Hall of Famer. After graduation, Hajek joined the WGLT newsroom until 2013 when he departed for NPR West, the network’s western bureau in Culver City, California, where he currently serves as a producer on Morning Edition.
Hajek recently joined David Greene in Paradise, California, during the destructive Camp Fire – the deadliest wildfire in state history. In April, he traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border to interview migrant families seeking asylum in El Paso, Texas. Hajek also received a Gracie Award with NPR’s Rachel Martin and Arezou Rezvani, for producing a series on opioid and methamphetamine addiction in Vinton County, Ohio.
Inductees were chosen from a list of nominees provided by WGLT staff and the WGLT Friends Council. Any volunteer, contributor, former employee, or intern may be nominated for selection, though current full-time and part-time employees are ineligible. More information about the WGLT Hall of Fame and honorees is on WGLT.org.
WGLT public radio is an NPR member station licensed to Illinois State since 1966 and has been a part of the School of Communication since 1997. The station has been honored with scores of regional and national awards for excellence by The Associated Press, Kaleidoscope, Public Radio News Directors, Inc. and the prestigious Edward R. Murrow awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association. Over the decades, support from ISU and the community has allowed WGLT to become a full-service public radio station, serving a central Illinois audience of more than 50,000 combined users a week at 89.1 FM, and via WGLT.org, social media, podcasts, smart speakers and NPR One app.