Legacy - Frank Lemp

Posted by Janae Melvin on April 26, 2018 in

On October 22, OU friend and long-time colleague, Frank Lemp passed away from the complications of cancer. Lemp joined the OU faculty in 1981, first working in and then leading the art department for many years while teaching in a variety of other roles. He was awarded tenure in 1987, and has been a highly regarded member of the faculty since that time.
During Lemp’s time on the faculty, he developed a well-earned reputation not only for his work in the visual arts, but as a stalwart supporter of the liberal arts and all things interdisciplinary. Perhaps it was his keen artistic eye, but Lemp always seemed to see patterns in a variety of shapes and forms before many others did so. He loved good conversation (emphasis on “good”) but disdained hearsay, gossip, and political triviality.
Lemp was a 1972 graduate of OU, where he distinguished himself as a student and as an athlete, playing on OU’s then nationally prominent men’s soccer team. In recognition of his outstanding play, he was inducted into the Braves Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006. Students would describe Lemp as caring, challenging, supportive, creative, fun, very open, and perhaps even a little quirky in a cool way. His colleagues undoubtedly echo those words, but would add principled and tenacious to the list. In his later years at OU, Lemp became increasingly concerned about the future of the art department and what would happen once he retired.
During the Executive Session of the October Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees agreed enthusiastically and unanimously to the naming of the Lemp Art Gallery, currently housed in Mammel Art Center within the Myers Library Building, in recognition of his exemplary service. No one person has done more to advance the visual arts or, for that matter, the cause of the liberal arts, in his or her time here.

Lemp is survived by his mother, Hermine, his wife, Miriam Fredrikson Lemp ’72, his daughters, Elizabeth Lemp and Sarah Lemp.