“It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story.”

Native American Proverb

O-Wa-Ki-Ya” is a Native American term meaning “to cause to write.”

In the early 1930s, MSU’s Writing Club, composed of aspiring journalists and–to quote an article from 1934–“other varieties of scribblers,” created the O-Wa-Ki-Ya, an annual publication sponsored by M.S.U. that contained the best of the feature articles, short stories, one-act plays, poems, informal and formal essays written by the members of the Writer’s Club. It was the only published literary effort of its kind.

The Owakiya had fallen by the wayside by 1965 and was replaced by the Midwestern State University Quarterly. Another incarnation of the publication, called Ahimsa, existed at some point between 1965 and 1969.

In 1975, the Press Club brainstormed and created the first issue of  Voices.  Editor Kathy Weber and faculty advisor Tom Hoffman combined student art and literature, faculty essays, and newspaper publications in this first issue, which honored the inauguration of the new MSU President Dr. John Barker. It featured art and literature from 15 different departments on campus. It was financed by a $2,600 allocation from the MSU Board of Regents and was sold at the MSU bookstore, as well as other bookstores within the city. In 1977, the Student Publication series began.

Funding from the student allocation fees was cut from Voices in 1992, and a non-too-small crisis of existence threatened to relegate Voices to the dusty shelves of the archives. A strained relationship between the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Voices staff led to tension on campus for those involved. By 1993, corporate contributions from Mr. Jim Lonergan, then publisher of the Wichita Falls Times and Record News, in the amount of $1,200 and a personal contribution of $3,300 from  MSU President Dr. Louis J. Rodriguez saved the almost-sinking ship.

Voices remains stubbornly and steadfastly the only permanent forum for students on campus to express themselves freely through their inspired artwork, original writings, and other artistic endeavors.

In its first 15 years of publication(1975-90), Voices won 12 state awards from the
Texas Intercollegiate Press Association  for overall effort and for individual categories of student entries. For several years afterwards, however, Voices was not submitted to competition. In 2006, its competitive spirit was revitalized and was awarded the following at the 2006 T.I.P.A.:

* 1st place–short story
* 2nd place–cover design
* 3rd place–general excellence
* 5th place–overall literary magazine sweepstakes

The same year, four entries from Voices were presented to and received great praise from the 2006 Student Conference for Research and Creative Arts at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Professor Gary Goldberg was the faculty advisor for all art contributions until 2010. His dedication to selecting and photographing outstanding student art work has given Voices its stunning visual appeal for several years. In 2010, editors were surprised when they received art submissions from students themselves, which increased art submissions by 50 submissions. Professor Goldberg remains a vital supporter for the editors and continues to select artwork from the art department. In 2012, Professor Jennifer Yucus was asked by the editors to help them form a jury for the art submissions that they received from students outside of the art department and an “internship for credit” for graphic design students. Some of those who rallied to help Voices in the past–with supplies, layouts, adjustments, the running of the shop, and more–were Gerald Williams, Angie Lewis,Clyde Bennett, and Jim Henson.

In 2016,Professor John Schulze became the faculty advisor for Voices. He expanded the journal’s scope by making it a regional arts and literature journal that accepts student submissions from Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. The 2016-17 issue earned the First Place award for Overall Excellence in Division 3 from Texas Intercollegiate Press Association.

Past and Current Faculty Advisors:
1975 & 1983-92– Professor Tom Hoffman
197782– Professor Jim Hoggard
19932004– Professor Robert Johnson
200514– Professor Sue Henson
2016– present- Professor John Schulze

Student editors of Voices have been as follows:

Russell Hill, Sue Vernon
Diane Hooten

Donald Eubanks,
Wolfgang Richter
Douglas Beck,
Connie Cooper
Lois Sullivan, William Payne
Michael Dowd,
Laurie Stroh
Dale Tisdale

Dale Tisdale

Eloise Splawn Kerr

Eloise Splawn Kerr

Freda J. Fuller

Freda J. Fuller

Lloyd Henry
E. Maurine Joyner
Sonny Armstrong
Jannett Theriault
Jean Hall
Jill Ross
Susie Burks
Jason Welch
Jeannette Richmond
Kimberly Tucker

Erin DeCuir
Nick Bagherpour
Heather Goodwin Tarman
Maria Ifcic
Freda Fuller-Coursey
James Cochrane
Paige Dickerson
Elizabeth Bourland-Hawley
Christian McPhate
Christian McPhate
Joel Morrow, Darylie Williams, Lauren Miller, Mary Yehle
Adam Henson, Breanne Sill
Adam Henson, Breanne Sill
Adam Henson, Breanne Sill, Ruth Black; Web Archivist-Jaron Judd
Editor in Chief- Breanne Sill; Assisting Editor- Ruth Black; Editors- Cody Parish, Andi Wisdom, Alexis Desire, Mike Winters, Talor Kindig, and Kendell Penington
Editor-in-Chief- Talor Kindig; Assisting Editors-Ginger Bartush, Cody Parish, Kendell Penington, Mike Winters, Bee Quesada, Caitlin McNeely
2015- No Issue Published
Whitney Atkinson,
Mallory Evangelista,
Ashlee Fandrich, Lexi Murphy
Lane Riggs, Brittany Williams
Whitney Atkinson,
Mallory Evangelista,
Ashlee Fandrich, Lane Riggs,     Kalli Root; Technical Editor- Jonathan Henderson
Nathan Conard, Alondra Escobedo,
Carrie Horton, David Milks,
Cody Peterson, Jessica Odom, Morgan Lowe, Miles Mireles


2007 was the 30th anniversary of the student-run Voices. Publications can withstand the test of time, and Voices is proof of that.

“Our lives begin to end
the day we become silent
about things that matter.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.