Athens, Ga. – Otis A. Brumby Jr. (LL.B. ’65) has been named the 2010 recipient of the University of Georgia School of Law alumni association’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Scroll Award. The award was presented to him during the school’s alumni breakfast held in conjunction with the State Bar of Georgia’s Annual Meeting on June 19.
This accolade is given annually to individuals whose dedication and service to the legal profession and the School of Law deserve special recognition.
Brumby’s award was presented to him by G. Conley Ingram, Superior Court of Cobb County senior judge and former Georgia Supreme Court justice.
“[Otis] has set a strong leadership example for all of us who feel passionate about open government,” said Ingram. “Free speech rights, I think, are at the heart of his dedication and loyalty to our way of life in this country and to the open and fair administration of justice in our country. He deserves this award plain and simple.”
Upon receiving the award, Brumby said it was “overwhelming” to be placed in the ranks of such a distinguished group.
“My lifelong interests of protecting and enhancing First Amendment freedoms is a direct result of my having attended the University of Georgia law school and the constitutional classes that it offered,” Brumby said.
Currently the publisher of The Marietta Daily Journal and Neighbor Newspapers and a trustee of the UGA Arch Foundation, Brumby has always been very involved in giving back to the law school, the university as a whole and the state of Georgia.
In 2004, he established the Otis Brumby Distinguished Professorship in First Amendment Law, a joint faculty post that is shared between the law school and the UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. He also served as a committee member for the law school during the Archway to Excellence fundraising effort. Additionally, last year, he participated in the law school’s Dean’s Business Roundtable Series, which brings alumni back to campus to share their professional experiences with law students in a small group setting.
Brumby earned his undergraduate degree from the University of the South, where he majored in political science and minored in economics. After graduating from Georgia Law, he began working at The Marietta Daily Journal as assistant to the publisher. Two years later, he became publisher. In 2004 the paper was named the best in the state by the Georgia Press Association.
In addition to his responsibilities at the journal, Brumby launched Neighbor Newspapers in 1969 to serve the Atlanta suburbs.
Today, he and his son Otis A. Brumby III (J.D. ’06) are responsible for publishing two daily newspapers and 27 community/suburban newspapers in 10 counties in metropolitan Atlanta. Brumby was named to Georgia Trend’s list of “100 Most Influential Georgians” three times, and he is also the director of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation.
Brumby is the past president and a current member of the board of directors for the Georgia Press Association. He is also the former Georgia chair of the National Newspaper Association and was a director of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association. Additionally, Brumby has been on the Grady College board of advisors and has served as chair of the State Board of Education.