WKDU: 50 Years of Student-Run Radio
An exhibit presented by the Drexel University Archives & WKDU
The Drexel University Libraries & University Archives join WKDU in celebrating 50 years on the air as Drexel’s free-format, non-commercial, student-run radio station in this exhibit of artifacts, photographs and documents from the station’s decades of broadcasting.
WKDU began as a 10-watt student radio station broadcast from the top of Van Rensselaer Hall in 1972. Today, the station broadcasts at 800 watts from the basement of the Creese Student Center on Drexel’s University City campus and reaches thousands of listeners each day.
While the station has grown over the last 50 years, its mission remains the same: to serve as a resource for students to gain engineering and broadcast experience.
But the station is more than an educational tool. Throughout its existence, WKDU has focused on creating diverse programming and providing a platform for artists and community members who would otherwise be left unheard. From The Black Experience in Music to the introduction of punk and “new wave,” WKDU has always embraced local and independent artists and continues to be a major voice in Philadelphia’s radio landscape—where “boundaries are tested, local and underground artists are represented, and where Drexel community members share their voice.”
3D artifacts, photographs, and posters in the exhibit have been loaned to the University Libraries by WKDU and members of the Black Experience in Music to help tell the story of their 50 years of service to the University and region. Print materials and other documents are from the University Archives collection.
The exhibit is free and open to all members of the Drexel community and the public. It will be on display in the W. W. Hagerty Library atrium September 13 through December 31, 2021.