SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — WSOU 89.5 FM, Seton Hall University’s legendary student-run radio station, will celebrate 70 years of continuous operation on Saturday, April 14. Festivities include a gathering of more than 200 station alumni for dinner and the induction of three new members into the WSOU Hall of Fame: broadcaster Frank Garrity ’82, Bishop John O’Hara ’67, and “Polka Party” host professor Stanley Kosakowski. In addition, “Music Choice” music programmer Gabby Canella ’12 will be presented with the station’s Distinguished Young Alumna Award. The dinner and induction ceremony will be held at the Grand Summit Hotel in Summit from 7 to 11 p.m.
WSOU began broadcasting on April 14, 1948, when Father Thomas J. Gilhooly threw the switch that turned on the station’s transmitter. Envisioned as a station focused on experiential-learning and pre-professional development, WSOU has fulfilled that mission since its inception. Thousands of students got their first on-air experience at the station and many of them — including ESPN’s Bob Ley and John Brickley; WINS’ Glenn Schuck; NYC traffic reporters Christina Lang, Kelly Dillon and Christina Stoffo; NJ 101.5’s Jen Ursillo; and former N.Y. State Broadcasters Association president and CEO Joseph A. Reilly — have gone on to successful careers in broadcasting. Since 1986, WSOU has programmed a loud rock format that has earned the station a worldwide reputation for breaking new bands and recognizing emerging talent.
The WSOU Hall of Fame honors distinguished alumni who have made significant contributions to their professions and recognizes their involvement with Seton Hall University’s student-run radio station. Inductees are chosen based on their professional accomplishments, WSOU student career activities, service to WSOU and Seton Hall University after graduation, support of current students, personal examples of servant leadership, and involvement with alumni activities.
“WSOU really is unique among college radio stations, not only for its longevity but also for the comradery among its alumni,” station general manager Mark Maben said. “What has been inspiring to see in recent years is the number of current students who are drawn to radio. In the 21st century, the media landscape seems to change by the minute, but at WSOU we’ve seen that millennials and Generation Z are as passionate about audio as the earlier generations that worked at the station.”