Remembering Bonnie Thrasher

Bonnie Thrasher

UPDATES: You can read the A-State Herald’s special edition in Bonnie’s memory here.

Donations in Bonnie’s memory can be made several ways:

• Online at, identify Bonnie Thrasher Memorial Scholarship in the Other category.
• By phone at 870-972-3940
• Mailed to ASU Foundation at P.O. Box 1990, State University, AR, 72467. ASU requests that there be a note on the memo line referencing the gift is for the Bonnie Thrasher Memorial Scholarship.
• Cards can be sent to Department of Media, PO Box 1930, State University, AR, 72467.
• In lieu of flowers, the family requests people to give to the scholarship or to The Greene County Animal Farm at 1261 Greene 739 Road Paragould, AR, 72450. For information, email

“One of my greatest pleasures in life is to follow the careers of former students and Herald staffers, and I especially love when they drop by the office for a visit.”

Statement from the Arkansas State College of Media and Communication

The Southeast Journalism Conference, its past participants and all in the student journalism community mourn the loss of SEJC secretary Bonnie Thrasher. On behalf of the entire organization, we send our condolences to her family, friends and to the students and alumni of The Herald at Arkansas State University.

Bonnie served as our secretary and treasurer from 2007 until her passing this week. We remember her for the camaraderie she provided, her unending dedication and for her service to the world of student journalism.

An alum of the Mississippi University for Women (B.A.) and the University of Alabama (M.A.), she began as a journalism instructor at Arkansas State University in 1993, at which time she also began advising the Herald and ASU’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She served as a judge for eight different state journalism contests and, of course, frequently served as a judge for SEJC onsite competitions.

Bonnie’s service was not restricted to our conference. She also held several titles for the national College Media Association, including Vice-President, Professional Development Committee chair and Career Development chair. She coordinated several job fairs for CMA’s fall conventions. She served as the president of Arkansas’s SPJ chapter from 2004 to 2006. Her work was recognized by the state’s press association in the form of its 2007 Journalism Educator of the Year award.

Bonnie was a staunch advocate for her students and for journalists’ right to information in general. The Jonesboro Sun newspaper recognized Bonnie as an Freedom of Information hero for 2010. The following year, when a newspaper theft occurred on ASU campus, she was the first to defend her students’ right to cover controversial issues, stating “I think people need to remember that all of The Herald content is published online, so stealing newspapers does not prevent people from seeing the news. Stealing newspapers does, however, often make the story the thieves were trying to stop into an even bigger one.”

When Bonnie wasn’t reading newspapers (or murder mystery novels) or gardening, she was dedicated to animal rescue work. She was constantly fostering cats for adoption and helped to design and produce the Greene County (Paragould, AR) Animal Farm Shelter’s quarterly newsletter. Her dogs– Lola, Hattie and Ollie– were all rescues.

We will update this page as we receive more information on where and how to share condolences.

Promoting Journalism in the Southeast Region