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WITR Radio Station collection

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: RITArc-0057

Scope and Contents

The WITR Radio Station collection consists of items related to the Rochester Institute of Technology's official student-run radio station. Most of the collection is made up of printed matter including advertising fliers, program guides, blank student surveys, forms used by the station, unused stationery, news publications and clippings, and open house invitations. The collection also includes correspondence from agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Educational FM Associates.

In addition, the collection includes a few pieces of memorabilia. There are files on several specific events and four Eva-tone Soundsheets (flexi discs) released by the station in 1973.

One CD of The RIT String Quartet performs Dvorak's "American" Live, a presentation of WITR 89.7 Classical radio from the live WITR radio broadcast of November 20, 2016 was added to the collection in December 2016. The RIT String Quartet was made up of: Nicolette Kulakowski, first violin; Lisa Tang, second violin; Madeline Mooney, viola; Ryan Mraz, cello. Total timing of the production is 37:42. The CD begins with a brief introduction by the WITR radio host, Jerome Glick, and some background on Czech composer, Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904).


  • Creation: 1961-1993


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

The WITR Radio Station was established in 1961 as the first student-run radio station at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). On November 12th of that year, the Board of Trustees for the Institute gave a group of students permission to construct an FM radio station on the campus. The hope was that the station would be able to "tie together" the RIT community of which nearly half of the students commuted to school. In addition to music, the station was to provide local news, a calendar of events, and special community-based programming.

The radio station was housed in the College Union of RIT's old campus. By 1980, the station had about 50 participating students and was preparing to broadcast 24 hours per day. WITR played a variety of music, though the main focus was described as "progressive rock." Perhaps the most notable program done by the station is "Reggae Sounds." Started in 1978 in response to a student survey, the station became the longest continuous running Reggae radio program in North America by 1991.

Also in 1980, WITR decided to expand its broadcast from 10 watts to 1,000 watts. Money for the project was donated by Paul Miller, a former head of the Gannett Company, not to be confused with Paul A. Miller, a former president of RIT. In 1982 WITR received approval for the conversion from the Federal Communications Commission. The transition was officially completed on November 17, 1982 when each of WITR's deejays took turns "spinning" for 30 minute intervals.

As of 2017, WITR is still in operation. Broadcast on 89.7, the station continues to play a variety of music, as well as broadcast RIT events such as RIT hockey matches.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 document box)




Documents and memorabilia related to WITR, the Rochester Institute of Technology's student-run radio station. The collection includes a variety of materials including program guides, correspondence, event invitations, advertising documents, memorabilia, and clippings and a CD of a live recording of the RIT String Quartet.


Materials in the collection are arranged by type such as clippings, events, photographs, program guides, and background information. For the most part, items are arranged chronologically within each group.

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

WITR Radio Station collection

Custodial History

Most of the collection was part of a scrapbook in the RIT Archive Collections. The items were rehoused into archival folders in 2007 and merged with other related materials in 2011.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 2007:059; 2011:028; 2013:077

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in January 2011.



WITR Radio Station collection
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
14 January 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA