The University of Central Oklahoma will host the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame's 40th anniversary celebration Friday with the induction of nine state journalists.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:45 a.m. will celebrate the new Hall of Fame exhibition hall, followed by a luncheon at noon. The new hall is located on the third floor of UCO's Nigh University Center.
Hall of Fame Director Terry Clark, a mass communications professor at the college, said the new exhibition hall is an impressive addition to the campus, and should serve the Hall of Fame well.
"I'm very pleased with all of the work that has been put into it by students and faculty," Clark said. "We're already getting more traffic and comments about it. We really want to honor the journalists in the Hall of Fame; people are going to be very proud of this."
This year's inductees include Gean B. Atkinson, Oklahoma City journalist; Mike Boettcher, CNN foreign correspondent; Susan Boling Ellerbach, Tulsa World managing editor; Ray Dyer and Sean Dyer, co-publishers of the El Reno Tribune; Melba Lovelace, columnist for The Oklahoman; Andy Rieger, executive editor of The Norman Transcript; Bill Sherman, Tulsa World religion writer; and Jack Stone, retired executive editor of The Anadarko Daily News.
Clark said this year's class of inductees is very impressive, representing the role of storytelling and journalism in Oklahoma.
"This is a fantastic group of journalists," he said. "This is what the hall is about: honoring these people for their hard work and recognize the importance of journalism."
Mark Thomas, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Press Association, will serve as the master of ceremonies for the event. UCO president W. Roger Webb will give a welcoming address.
The 40th anniversary address will be delivered by Boettcher, who currently teaches at the University of Oklahoma. The inductions begin at 1:30 p.m.
Clark believes attendees will not only have an opportunity to see several great journalists, but also receive a valuable history lesson from firsthand accounts. He joked that some of the acceptance speeches may be lengthy because the storytellers will do what they do best: Tell many stories.
For more information, call 974-5121 or visit www.okpress.com. "Luke Atkinson
photo Andy Rieger, executive editor of The Norman Transcript. photo/Mark Hancock