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University of Memphis Black Student Association Honors Art Gilliam with Lifetime Achievement Award

In a significant acknowledgment of his contributions to the community and media industry, Art Gilliam, the president of Gilliam Communications, Inc., and owner of WLOK Radio, was honored with the 2024 Arthur S. Holmon Lifetime Achievement Award. The award, presented by the Black Student Association of the University of Memphis, recognizes individuals who serve as influential role models in the city’s Black community.

Art Gilliam, a prominent figure in Memphis, has played a pivotal role in the African-American media landscape. His company, which operates WLOK Radio, stands out as the first and only independently owned African-American radio station in Memphis. With a gospel format, WLOK has been a staple in the community since Gilliam Communications’ acquisition in 1977, broadcasting on both FM and AM channels – AM1340 and FM105.

The Arthur S. Holmon Lifetime Achievement Award is given annually to a Memphian whose work inspires students and uplifts the Black community.

“I am truly honored to receive this award especially during Black History Month, which reminds us of the important contributions made by countless African Americans, such as Arthur Holmon, on whose shoulders we all stand,” Gilliam remarked during the ceremony.

Holmon, a significant figure himself, dedicated 26 years to the University of Memphis as the Dean of Students for Minority Affairs.

Gilliam’s accomplishments extend beyond WLOK. He is a recipient of numerous accolades including the Black History Men of Honor Leadership Award, the Gospel Bridge Lifetime Achievement Award, the Rainbow/PUSH Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, and a recent induction into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame.

The award ceremony, held earlier this month, was hosted at the University Center Theatre, celebrating Gilliam’s enduring impact and legacy. His journey and achievements continue to guide and motivate the next generation of leaders in Memphis and beyond.

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