“This new FM station at Rollins College can help to speed and advance the great ideas which keep men and women free. Whether the ideas come from the great music or poetry or other literature of the past, or from debates and reflections of today, the people of our country who are listening in will be richer.”
Sixty years ago, the then president-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower welcomed the listeners of 91.5 WPRK-FM with this inspiring statement. While its programming and leadership have changed over the decades, the station’s dedication to serving the interests of the Rollins and local community has not wavered.
It is due to loyal listeners from the past 60 years that 91.5 WPRK-FM still lives on, and the station wishes to celebrate its 60th birthday with a weeklong extravaganza to thank all of its supporters.
During the week of April 1, WPRK is launching a “fund-a-thon” that will broadcast Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. During this time, WPRK DJs will be on-air while listeners are able to call in and donate to the station.
“WPRK has barely had any updates or equipment repairs since our founding in 1952. We are looking for any kind of small support or donation from everyone who wants to help WPRK continue for another 60 years!” said Professional Affairs Director Amanda Roche ’13.
Every day at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., a band will be playing live in the studio and a variety of community members will be stopping by. Students are more than welcome to stop in and watch an exclusive live set.
On Wednesday, April 4, DJs will interview the band We Were Promised Jetpacks at 11:30 a.m., and from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. there will be an “open air” segment where anyone can come down to the station and promote a cause important to him or her.
“The fund-a-thon should be really cool,” said Programming Director KC Korge ‘13, who played a huge role in organizing the fund-a-thon schedule. “It’s like a reunion for everyone in the community, and a nice way to bring everyone into the station,” said Korge.
The week will end with a huge free concert on campus Saturday, April 7 from noon to 10 p.m. There will be two stages, one on The Green and another on Mary Jean Plaza, for musical guests, including The London Souls, Beebs and Her Money Makers, Hundred Waters, SKIP, Saskatchewan, KG Omulo, and many more. The event will also have a beer garden sponsored by Shipyard’s Brewery, as well as many local vendors selling arts and crafts and other miscellaneous items and services.
Rob Soviero ‘13, director of promotions and communication, has spent endless hours devising the activities. “Planning the concert portion of the anniversary has been the largest, most challenging project I’ve ever worked on, but I’d never change anything about this commitment. I dedicate a large portion of my Rollins time to helping WPRK continue to be the best radio station in Central Florida,” said Soviero.
This anniversary is not only significant for WPRK, but for college and local radio worldwide. Our station is one of the few left in a shrinking radio community that runs on FM (not just Internet streaming), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and it is completely run by Rollins students and volunteers from the community. “You matter when you work at WPRK,” said Korge. “You have a real responsibility to the listeners, and it’s great that Rollins gives students these opportunities to really count in our community.”
Station Manager Clark Sprinkel grew up listening to WPRK. “I started at WPRK as a freshman in 2001 and the station has been a part of my life ever since. One of the main reasons I chose Rollins for graduate school was my involvement with WPRK,” said Sprinkel. “In 60 years I hope WPRK is still bringing alternative programming to the Winter Park community. I’ll be 89 and hopefully I’ll still be around and part of WPRK.”
WPRK epitomizes the enduring medium of radio, as well as the importance of local radio stations in the community. Here’s to 60 more years as WPRK 91.5-FM, Winter Park, Florida, “The Best in Basement Radio, and The Voice of Rollins College!”