Strengthening institutional identity

In many ways my experience of student broadcasting at Penn State was a life-defining one. I’ve stayed involved with the Penn State Alumni Association’s Penn State Media Alumni Interest Group because I want to be able to enhance the experiences of the next generations of students.

A part of what made my experience so meaningful was being able to run the station with a sense of the people and events that came before me. The lessons of the successes, challenges, and failures of the past half century helped root my experience. At the time we took historical memory that was largely oral and personal and enshrined it in the station’s physical plant at the central studio and at the office. We hoped that by encountering that history upon entering and leaving the station, it would become a firmer part of the station’s institutional DNA and contribute meaningfully to the student experience.

We learned in 2013 that the student broadcasters at The LION 90.7fm would be moving into a new, comprehensive broadcasting space as part of the HUB-Robeson Center’s 2015 expansion. The grand opening of that new broadcasting space is happening today.

One of the things we knew we could contribute from the Penn State Media Alumni Interest Group was the perpetuation of the history, albeit in a shorter and more traditional way. So we commissioned a small plaque and worked with the student leadership to have it placed in a place of prominence in the new space.

I hope this plaque can function for many years to defeat some of the corrosive effects of transience and the attendant loss of perspective and memory that often alienates people from enjoying a meaningful sense of place.

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