Four Journalism Alumni to Be Honored

2019 Lemke Alumni Society Hall of Honor Inductees: Top from left: O.V. Brantley and Philip Bruce; bottom: Art Meripol and Frank Thomas.
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2019 Lemke Alumni Society Hall of Honor Inductees: Top from left: O.V. Brantley and Philip Bruce; bottom: Art Meripol and Frank Thomas.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas alumni O.V. Brantley, Philip Bruce, Art Meripol and Frank Thomas will be inducted into the Lemke Alumni Society's Hall of Honor at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at the Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House. 

The Lemke Alumni Society Hall of Honor recognizes graduates of the School of Journalism and Strategic Media, formerly known as the Walter J. Lemke Department of Journalism, who have pursued distinguished careers in journalism, brought honor and integrity to their respective communities and contributed to the growth of the school/department. The Lemke Alumni Society is the society within the Arkansas Alumni Association for graduates with a degree in journalism. 

O.V. Brantley
Better known as O.V., Overtis Brantley graduated from the University of Arkansas with a journalism and political science degree with Honors in 1975 after serving as the associate editor of the student newspaper. Brantley received her law degree from Vanderbilt School of Law in 1978. Her career has focused on providing legal advice and counsel to city and county officials. She is currently an attorney/mediator based in Atlanta, Georgia.  

In 2018 she was inducted into the Gate City Bar Hall of Fame. In 2019, the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys awarded Ms. Brantley the Leah Ward Sears Award for Distinction in the Profession. 

Philip Bruce
Philip Bruce earned a degree in journalism in 1980. He started his news career as a news reporter/ weekend anchor at KFSM in Fort Smith covering Northwest Arkansas news and state politics. Over the years, Bruce has worked at broadcast stations in Little Rock, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, and most recently Tulsa, Oklahoma. He currently serves as the news director for KTUL-Tulsa's Channel 8. The station has won multiple EMMYS, SPJ awards and a prestigious national Murrow Award for Best Newscast.

Art Meripol
Art Meripol graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1977 with a journalism degree and went on to work as a newspaper photographer. He joined the staff of Southern Living Magazine in 1989 as a senior travel photographer. He spent almost 25 years shooting hundreds of features. Now freelance, Meripol still loves creating story-telling images. Recent projects included the tasty book Alabama Barbecue-Delicious Road Trips for Alabama Tourism and the National Addy award-winning book What Happened Here Changed the World documenting historic civil rights sites across the South.

Frank Thomas
Frank Thomas earned a degree in journalism in 1976 and served as the first news director of KUAF.  He also served as the student station manager in 1974-75. Thomas joined Stephens Inc. in 1996. His current title is vice president and assistant to the chairman. His primary responsibility is governmental affairs. Prior to joining Stephens, Frank was chief of staff for United States Senator David Pryor (D.-Arkansas) in Washington, D.C. Before going to Washington, Frank was Sen. Pryor's Arkansas staff director, a job he assumed after working in the senator's 1984 re-election campaign. Before politics, Thomas worked as a reporter at television and radio stations in Arkansas, Michigan and New York. Thomas is based in Little Rock. 

This will be the tenth Hall of Honor event; the first event took place in 2000. Past honorees include Jim Faulkner, Sue Walk Burnett, and the late E. Lynn Harris. 

Tickets are $60 for members and $65 for nonmembers. Register online by October 24. 

For additional information, please contact Ramona Collins, Lemke Alumni Society president at For sponsorship information, please contact Shanedra Barnes at


Ramona Collins, president, Lemke Alumni Society
Arkansas Alumni Association


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