For release: September 16, 2008
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey
The University of Memphis Journalism Alumni Club will honor three individuals at its
annual awards dinner Thursday, Oct. 16, at The Racquet Club of Memphis. The club
will present Paul Jewell and Walter Leavy with the Charles E. Thornton Outstanding
Alumni Award. Deanie Parker will receive the Herbert Lee Williams Award.
A reception will begin at 6 p.m., with the dinner following at 7. Tickets are $45
per person or $425 for a table of 10. The deadline for reservations is Oct. 10.
For reservations or more information, call alumni coordinator Fariss Adams Ivey at
Jewell is director of marketing for The Commercial Appeal. He has worked for the
newspaper since 1975, beginning his career as an editorial assistant in the newsroom
and moving to the Marketing Department as a copywriter in 1980. Jewell took the lead
in establishing the newspaper’s specialty publications division in the mid-1980s as
a venue for publishing sections and content outside the scope of daily news coverage.
He also served as manager of the Creative Services Department before being promoted
to marketing manager in 2006.
Jewell earned a B.A. degree in journalism from the U of M in 1978. He serves on the
board of directors of the Memphis Literacy Council, the U of M’s Journalism Alumni
Club and the University’s National Alumni Association. He has also served as an officer
and member of the board of directors of the Memphis Advertising Federation.
Leavy received a B.A. degree in journalism from the University in 1975. He is co-managing
editor of Ebony magazine. He has been at Ebony since 1980, steadily advancing to his
current position. When longtime executive editor Lerone Bennett Jr. retired in 2005,
Leavy and fellow U of M alumna and Ebony staff member Lynn Norment were promoted to
run the day-to-day operations of the magazine, which is affiliated with Jet magazine.
He also writes a column for the publication, “For Brothers Only,” which he describes
as “an avenue of expression for things that are uniquely male. It highlights the hopes
and dreams of black men.”
Parker was president and CEO of Soulsville, which includes the Stax Museum of American
Soul Music and the Stax Music Academy and Performing Arts Center. She established
the Soulsville Foundation to raise funds to operate the Museum and the Academy and
retired as the Foundation’s president in 2007.
Early in her career Parker was director of publicity, artists, and community relations
for Stax Records, working with such famed musicians as Isaac Hayes, Booker T & the
MGs, Otis Redding, and the Staple Singers. Before joining Soulsville, she was vice
president of communications and marketing for the Regional Medical Center at Memphis.
Parker also served as assistant director of the Memphis in May International Festival
from 1987-95 and returned as interim director for the 1996 Festival saluting Brazil.
Among the many honors she has received are the Women of Achievement Award for Initiative,
the University of Memphis Distinguished Alumni Award, the Public Relations Society
of America’s Memphis Communicator of the Year Award, and the Diversity Memphis Humanitarian
of the Year Award.
Parker is a double graduate of the U of M, earning a bachelor of professional studies
degree in 1977 and a master of public administration degree in 1988.
The Charles E. Thornton Award is named for a Memphis journalist who was killed while
on assignment in Afghanistan in 1985. The Herbert L. Williams Award is named for the
U of M Journalism Department’s founding chair.