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N.C. Central Restores Funding for Student Literary Magazine

N.C. Central Restores Funding for Student Literary MagazineDURHAM, N.C.

The chancellor of North Carolina Central University restored the budget of the school’s literary magazine —  and gave it a little boost.

Chancellor James H. Ammons said he didn’t realize that the 39-year-old Ex Umbra magazine had lost its $7,000 budget until he read about it in a newspaper.

Given its history and its academic value, Ammons said he quickly decided to find a way to finance the journal. The journal will now have a $10,000 budget.

“It’s important to the mission of the institution,” he said.

Roland Gaines, vice chancellor for student affairs, decided over the summer to give the magazine’s appropriation to other programs, saying that he was “trying to get more bang for the buck.”

Ammons also decided to put the magazine under the control of the English department rather than student affairs.

“We seem to be better off than we started,” said Dr. Louise Maynor, head of the English department at N.C. Central.

The magazine publishes one volume a year consisting mostly of student poetry.

The increased budget will allow the magazine to increase its print run from around 3,500 to 4,500, Maynor said. Nearly all of the budget goes to printing costs, with an annual $1,800 stipend for the magazine’s student editor.

The magazine’s founders chose its name for the symbolism. Ex Umbra is Latin for “out of the shadows.”

Students wrote in the magazine’s inaugural issue in 1965 that creative students “were too much in the shadows, and that they needed to be brought out into the light where their fellow students could recognize their talent and enjoy their work.

“Second, the staff also agreed that creative students at predominantly Negro colleges throughout the South were in the same situation, that too much good talent was going unrecognized.”

Dr. Andrew Williams, Ex Umbra’s faculty advisor, said he received several calls from alumni who shared their disappointment and offered to help.

— The Associated Press

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