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News

Magazine founders Larry Dunn ’70 and the Rev. Phil Carl ’70 celebrated Centrique’s 50th issue

By Nina Werger ’24

October 28, 2021

Centrique: 50th AnniversaryCentrique Magazine, Carthage’s student-run art and literary publication, celebrated its 50th issue over 2021 Homecoming and Family Weekend.

Founded by the Rev. Phil Carl ’70 and Larry Dunn ’70, Centrique has told thoughtful stories for decades. But one story not yet told is how these two Carthage roommates turned their friendship into a literary legacy.

When Pastor Carl was accepted to Carthage in 1964, he was asked to fill out a roommate preference questionnaire. One of the questions asked if the student would be willing to room with a person of another race.

“I answered yes to that question and was assigned Larry Dunn as my roommate,” said Pastor Carl. “We were one of only a handful of interracial roommates on campus.”

The two hit it off right away and continued to room together for the next four years. Despite being one of only 13 Black students on campus, Mr. Dunn distinctly remembers the warmth he felt from the community, including Professor Wilma Tague and the campus pastor, the Rev. Dudley Riggle.

Centrique founders Larry Dunn (left) and the Rev. Phil Carl (right) at the 50th issue celebration...Centrique founders Larry Dunn (left) and the Rev. Phil Carl (right) at the 50th issue celebration.“What could have been an uncomfortable experience for me was not,” Mr. Dunn said. “I had a wonderful time at Carthage, especially as more Black students attended the College in the ensuing years.”

Their friendship spurred the idea of an underground literary magazine.

“We solicited submissions from across campus, selected a name, and produced the first issue of Centrique in the student union, where, as student manager, I had access to the mimeograph machine,” said Pastor Carl.

Visiting poet Jau Billera was so impressed by the magazine that he printed a couple of issues off his press in Milwaukee, and the rest was history.

By December 1967, the co-founders’ sophomore year, the magazine was above ground and declared a “recognized independent literary endeavor” by the school administration. In 1970, Centrique had 10 people on its editorial staff and 22 contributing patrons — including every member of the English Department.

For the most part, the magazine has been published annually, with a few gaps and occasional years with multiple issues. It features students’ artwork, poetry, and other writing. Former Centrique editor Isabella Norante ’20 curated a gallery exhibition for the Homecoming gathering, and the co-founders returned to campus for the program. Today, Mr. Dunn writes poetry and composes music, and Pastor Carl serves at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church in Reston, Va.