New historical marker celebrates 'Student Broadcasting'

UNIVERSITY PARK — For more than a century, Penn State has pioneered broadcasting college radio, and now there’s a new historical marker to share that story with the many visitors, students, faculty and staff on the University Park campus.

Located outside of Sparks Building along Pattee Mall, the newly installed “Student Broadcasting” historical marker touts that “Penn State has been a leader in broadcasting college radio since the Class Gift of 1912 enabled early national experiments.”

Originally called WPSC, the University’s on-campus student radio station has changed names several times, with generations of students making an impact. Currently, The LION 90.7 FM (WKPS) is headquartered inside the HUB-Robeson Center and boasts new studio space that was part of the building’s expansion a few years ago.

The Penn State Media Alumni Interest Group — one of more than 300 Alumni Association affiliate groups — spearheaded having the marker installed and plans to follow up with a ceremony during Homecoming on Nov. 11.

“It’s an honor that fresh generations of Penn Staters will be able to encounter the spirit of past times through this historical marker,” said Tom Shakely, president of the Penn State Media Alumni Interest Group. “Penn Staters were broadcasting experimentally before the world wars that defined the 20th century, and they were covering Nittany Lion football games as early as the Hugo Bezdek years.

“Later, Penn Staters broadcast Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1965 speech in Rec Hall. On Sept. 11, 2001, Penn Staters broadcast live from Ground Zero. These are just a few vignettes from an incredible history. While it’s a fact that student broadcasting has always been made possible by technology, its true power has always been in empowering the human voice.”

A second historical marker will be dedicated later this month on Aug. 17, recognizing the advancements made at Penn State in the field of “Hospitality Management.” The Alumni Association and the College of Health and Human Development will share coverage of that event on our social channels and Penn State News. 

Historical markers at the University Park campus and other Penn State locations across the Commonwealth call attention to the University's rich tradition of achievement in higher education and in service to society. A formal series of blue-and-white markers was launched in 1989 by the Penn State Alumni Association and the Office of Strategic Communications. The Alumni Association funds and provides visibility and other support for the project, while the Strategic Communications office provides management services and coordinates the installation and maintenance of the markers with the Office of Physical Plant. The markers in general commemorate events and locations of broad importance to the intellectual and scientific development of Penn State as one of America's leading public universities.

For more information, visit the program’s online home.

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Last Updated August 17, 2017