From whence we came: Recognizing 105 years

January 1, 2005 marked the first day of celebration for The Famuan’s 105 years in publication. It has evolved through the years and gone through many changes. The Black Archives provides the history of all newspapers published by FAMU.

The College Arms, established in 1900, was the name of the first college newspaper at FAMU. This newspaper was much different than FAMU’s college newspaper today. The newspaper was a monthly publication and was sold for three cents a copy. The College Arms’ editorial staff was all university professors lead by the president of the university.

The staff list was made up of E.B. Jones, editor, Julian L. Brown, publisher, W.H.A. Howard, business manager, Jessie F. Stephens, associate editor, Eliza J. Powell, alumni editor and Lula M. Cooper on book reviews.

Those days of a staff with all university professors lasted until 1913 when students started to become editors.

This paper was made to “emphasize news of literary nature and pay close attention to the details of debates, orations and lectures by the president and faculty members.” Articles by students and faculty members and occasional excerpts from commercial publications and professional journals, which were deemed of interest to the college family, were also subjects of the newspaper.

After being published for 28 years the president of the university at that time decided the newspaper needed to go weekly. The freshman class of the 1928-1929 school year was chosen with H. Manning Efferson, professor and head of the mathematics department, to take on that task.

The weekly published paper was named Weekly News and had its beginning November 19, 1928.

In the first Weekly News paper it said, “publishing the most interesting happenings on our campus, and to develop, to some extent, a deeper appreciation for the things about us.”

Ending the era of the Weekly News was the Famcean which came about in the school year of 1933-1934.

The Famcean paper was published on a biweekly basis by a full staff of students, and was sponsored by the English Department.

After about a twenty year wait The Famuan came along in the late 1950s. Around the years when the FAMU made the transition from a college to a university, The Famuan was born. The name of the school newspaper has not changed since. The school newspaper has been winning awards throughout its existence. It is now fully staffed with students and recognized as the oldest black college newspaper.

Contact Royce Wynn at