WGMU Celebrates 35 Years on the Air with Food and Music

35th-Anniversary-Badge-150x150By Kathy Dodd

WGMU Radio debuted 35 years ago in 1981 and remains the student-run radio station of George Mason University. Today, as they stream their broadcast online via WGMU, iTunes Radio, RedFlag, TuneIn, and campus cable, you will hear a nostalgic mix of music from throughout the three decades of their history.

Under the guidance of communications professor Rodger Smith, WGMU broadcasts 80 hours of programming a week. Their broadcasts include an eclectic mix of today’s music. They also include local and undiscovered artists in their playlist—including bands that started at George Mason. In addition to music, there is sports and news programming. WGMU is also the flagship station of George Mason’s men’s and women’s basketball teams, part of the Go Mason Digital Network.

At the core, they are a college radio station, and the students who work and volunteer with the station receive a hands-on experience in broadcasting. Students have work as on-air talent and in production, as well as in the areas of marketing, promotions and advertising for the station.

“WGMU gave me real skills for the real world. I was able to learn so much about broadcast while working at the station,” says WGMU alumnus Alex Romano, BA Communication ’12, now associate producer, politics at CBS News.

Other WGMU alumni have found careers in broadcasting according to Smith. Notables include  Brian van de Graaf, weather forecaster for Newschannel 8; Jorge Andres, anchor on ESPN News and ESPN Deportes; Nick Ashooh, a host on national Fox Sports Radio and local ESPN 980; Arrianna Nichols, a deejay on New Country B105 in Winchester; and Tim Murphy, half the morning zoo at Jackson, Miss.’s Y101-FM.

You’re invited to join their 35th anniversary celebration from noon to 4 p.m.  Friday, May 1, at the Office of Student Media, in the Hub, Room 1012. Free barbecue, pizza, cake, raffle prizes and a CD fair are part of the festivities.

Buzz McClain contributed to this article.