WARC gathers current and former DJs for 60th anniversary celebration

Allegheny College’s student-run radio station, WARC 90.3 FM, will be celebrating its 60th anniversary on Saturday, Feb. 4, in the Henderson Campus Center lobby from 1 to 5 p.m.

WARC General Manager Meredith Kyser, ’24, described the plan for the day and how they will involve alumni in the event.

“We are going to do interviews over the radio with them about old DJs that used to DJ for the radio station,” Kyser said. “Like some people graduated in the 70s and they want to be interviewed for it, which I think is really cool that they still remember what their DJ experience was.”

According to Kyser, the event will also have games, a table for people to sign up for shows, stickers, CDs and a wall where people can take a song that sounds interesting to them and then write down their new favorite song to put up on the board. Kyser said that WARC has been planning this event since before winter break.

WARC Music Director Olivia Monroe, ’25, outlined the importance of having a radio station at the college.

“I don’t want to call it a dying form of media but it is definitely falling out of fashion with younger generations,” Monroe said. “I think that having WARC at Allegheny and having a campus radio station is a really great form of self-expression that kind of exposes people to something they might not have otherwise been interested in.”

Bill Franko, ’76, hosted a radio show throughout all four of his years at Allegheny College and said how the experience changed his view on possible career paths for him.

“My work with WARC and at the play shop showed me that there are other types of work and other types of careers besides law school, med school and business school,” Franko said. “Then I got into being a film worker and made a career out of working theater, film and television that I never would have imagined as a freshman. WARC was one of the first steps towards finding a unique path.”

Franko expressed his excitement about attending the anniversary based on previous experiences with them.

“It will be a chance to catch up with some of the people from my era at WARC,” Franko said. “I love going back to Allegheny and I look forward to it every year. I want to mention that when I was a freshman we got T-shirts that said ‘WARC: 10 years in the making,’ and I wish I could wear it, but of course I wore it until it fell apart.”

Autumn Vogel, ’15, expressed that WARC has been a way for her to stay connected with the community as a Meadville resident.

“WARC benefited me as a student because it gave me two hours where I could do something that is fun and creative that isn’t in pursuit of a grade or degree,” Vogel said. “Now that I am out of school but live in the area, I listen to WARC so I know that there is a connection to the Allegheny community.”

According to Vogel, WARC’s student-run nature has allowed for a lot of creativity and autonomy.

“I am thankful that it is still around, but I am not surprised,” Vogel said. “I think that it is valuable and an asset for students, it’s an outlet for students. As someone who is not a part of Allegheny anymore, it is also an asset to the community. I know people who have no affiliation with Allegheny who listen to WARC.”

Bob Smith, ’82, was the chief engineer for WARC and had a radio show. As part of the more technical aspect for WARC he was able to indulge in his interest with electronics.

“It was definitely the most valuable experience I ever had that basically affected my whole life,” Smith said. “When I arrived as a freshman I didn’t know anything about alternative radio and it was really eye-opening for me. It changed my musical world to this day and when I look back at my years at Allegheny, the best times that I had there were at the radio station.”

According to Smith, being part of the technical side of WARC as well as hosting shows made an impact in his life.

“The basics in audio and electronics carried with me throughout my life, and the musical aspect changed my whole perspective on music,” Smith said. “I made a lot of friends there who were very energetic and talented and I would love to see them again.”