WLTL celebrates 50th anniversary

Radio station welcomes alumni, current management to gala

Pilar Valdes, Assistant Pulse Editor

In a corner of the basement of NC lies LT’s very own student-run radio station, WLTL. Founded in 1968, the radio station is celebrating its 50th anniversary on April 21 at the Sheraton Lisle, with a gala for current and past management members.

Since its beginning, the radio station has tripled in size. The station was founded by two students, and was originally in the Vaughan building, supervisor Chris Thomas said.

“In 1968, the radio was started from nothing and now we are thriving,” promotions coordinator Riley Egan ‘19 said. “The medium has changed so much and we have still managed to stay relevant and popular among the student body.”

In addition to changing physically, the station has changed and adapted to technology.

WLTL now features live, on-air shows, podcasts and pre-recorded shows, as well as expanding the station’s social media presence, Egan said.

On Jan. 5, the managers celebrated the station’s actual birthday on air by featuring a six-hour podcast that supervisor Mike Baker created, featuring the most interesting events and popular music from the past 50 years, Egan said. Additionally, throughout the year, the station has featured music from all of the decades that WLTL has existed.

“It’s always been about the people that are involved. Radio is an important aspect of WLTL, but its always been about the people that are involved,” Thomas said. “[It] is a vehicle that we are using to teach communications, which hasn’t changed over the past 50 years.”

The celebration planned for April 21 will be much bigger, with an expected turnout of 350 to 400 guests at the gala, Thomas said.  

During the day, WLTL alumni are invited to take a tour of the studio. In addition, video director Alexander Kuptel ‘18 created a video presentation that will be shown in the NC Reber Center at 3 p.m. that day, Egan said.

“The current managers have done a lot for WLTL and we’re really proud of it, and we hope the alumni are proud of it too,” Egan said. “We want them to be impressed by what they’ve helped to build over the last 50 years.”

As the station continues to grow and change, one thing has remained the same: the passion of the people involved.

“The technology will change, the way we deliver content will change, but I hope the people stay the same,” Thomas said. “I hope there is always this love of the community that they were in involved in whether it’s the 50th anniversary or the 75th or the 100th.”