At the start of the new year I’m writing to alumni and supporters of Penn State student radio broadcasting with an appeal to share your experiences.
In life we measure generations in roughly twenty year spans, but on the college campus every generation can almost be measured by the year—each with its own distinctive character and flavor.
Since Penn Staters first began broadcasting through experimental shortwave radio around 1908, through the establishment of WPSC in the 1920s as the first recognizably modern radio station, so many generations have come and gone. Each writes its own chapter in the unfolding history of student radio, but rarely have those chapters been conserved, let alone assembled into a coherent story.
I’m not proposing that we literally write a book, but I am asking that you consider spending a few minutes to email me with any memories, reminiscences, anecdotes, or experiences from your time with Penn State student radio, whether that was with WDFM, WPSU, one of the dorm stations like WEHR or WHR, or The LION 90.7fm.
Even a hundred words of memories is appreciated! Whatever you’re willing to share will be something that can be shared with each new year’s students to better understand who came before them. We’ll eventually print and donate these recollections to the Penn State Libraries for their permanent archives. For perspective, check out two examples of things alums have shared with us in the past from Steve Warren and Steven M. Weisberg. Rodger Curnow even shared late 1960s WDFM audio.
(Last year, we wrote a roughly ~2,000 word history called The Penn State Student Broadcasting Story, which now hangs in the HUB facilities of The LION 90.7fm on campus. It tells the story from 1912 through today. We were able to write this mostly thanks to The Daily Collegian’s archives, and you should check it out if you haven’t seen it. But we need your more personal stories, too.)
Finally, if you have audio from your time on the radio station, I would be incredible grateful if you could send it my way. It, too, will go to the libraries and will be added to our budding Audio Archives. We’ve got virtually no WDFM audio, and relatively little of everything else, frankly.
That’s it for now. We’ll probably do a small open house in the HUB over Blue/White weekend in April. I’ll write more when we have specifics.