Comprehensive University Endowment Trust Fund
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The Rayburn and Nancy Spann Watkins Endowed Visiting Professorship was occupied by Mr. Martin Roper during 2011-2012. In the Department of English and Philosophy, the Comprehensive University Endowment Trust Fund primarily funds the Nancy and Rayburn Watkins Endowed Professorship in Creative Writing, which brings a visiting writer to campus for up to three years. During his time at Murray State, Professor Roper has completed a novel, The Typewriter, to be published by Henry Holt, and has begun a new, untitled novel. Professor Roper also presented to faculty as part of the Provost’s Brownbag Luncheon series and gave a public reading.
Additional funding support to bring a writer to campus as an endowed professor has helped the Department of English and Philosophy continue its excellent undergraduate program in creative writing while building the low-residency M.F.A. in Creative Writing. The number of M.F.A. students actively enrolled has increased from 22 in 2006 to 41 in Spring 2012. Enrollment in the undergraduate creative writing program totaled 49 in Spring 2012, with an additional 26 students minoring in creative writing. The department continues to publish two literary magazines: the undergraduate Notations and the professional New Madrid.