history of iu campus radio

Indiana University Campus Radio was born in 1963, on the 5th of January, after months of preparation, when Physics Major Bill Weaverling, Chemistry Major Steve Peterson, Education Major Jerry Pugh, and a handful of believers signed on WQAD, broadcasting at 730 AM via carrier current throughout Wright Quad.

"We thought that after a year or two, no one would know how to change the tubes in the transmitter and the whole thing would just die." — Steve Peterson

Over four decades later, thousands of students have given their time and talents to keep the dream of Campus Radio alive, gaining invalualble practical experience, while having the time of their lives.

A year after WQAD signed on, WFQR, broadcasting at 600 AM, emerged in Harper Hall at Foster Quad. The call letters were later changed to WIN.

Over the next few years, both stations expanded, and together reached every dorm on campus...WQAD to the south of 10th Street, and WFQR/WIN to the North.

Early in 1967, the IURN (Indiana University Residence Network) was formed, to supply both stations with news, sports, weather, and special programming. This entity, independent from the two dormitories, was also free to sell commercial advertising.

By May of 1967, IU President Elvis Stahr and the Board of Trustees had backed and financed a plan to buy out the two quads and merge the stations, staffs and signals to form WIUS... the largest carrier-current, student-owned, commercial, Campus Radio station in the world!

The newly formed IU Student Broadcast Asssociation borrowed $15,000 from the Trustee's Special Fund, reached a potential audience of 15,000 students, campus wide, and sold $15,000 in advertising during it's first year of operation...the fall of 1967 through the spring of 1968. This was after signing on out of McNutt Quad, on the Fourth of July, to test and tweak the combined signals. The date was chosen to commemorate the freedom for which Campus Radio had fought and won.

WIUS, broadcasting at 620 AM, still via carrier current, grew and prospered until tragedy struck in the fall of 1972. On October 10th, an early morning fire broke out and gutted the gracious brick house, at 617 E. 8th Street, that had been the home of Mayor Lemon, Doc Councilman... and Campus Radio. While this was a great setback, the indomitable spirit of Campus Radio fought to keep the dream alive... and prevailed. In a Phoenix-like resurgence, WIUS rose out of the ashes.

Student-run IU campus radio has continued to evolve, becoming WIUX – a low-power FM station – with the on-going help and support of the campus radio alumni.

It is the intent of the IUCRAA to recapture the history of the first decade of Campus Radio. We invite you to submit your pieces to our family's history. Use the Contact page to let us know what you have to share.