Oscar-winning actress Olympia Dukakis (SAR’53, CFA’57, Hon.’00) discusses her life in the arts on Wednesday, January 16, at the BU Concert Hall, at 4 p.m.
Week of 11 January 2002 · Vol. V, No. 18


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Radio days at BU: January is National Radio Month -- a time when people are urged to tune in to a different radio station each day for the month. This 1952 photo of an unidentified WBUR disc jockey spinning platters encouraged us to delve into the history of the station. Eight months before the School of Public Relations and Communications (now known as the College of Communication) opened in 1947, WBUR went on the air as the second educational FM radio station in Boston (Emerson College's WERS was the first). Early WBUR broadcasts were made under the aegis of the Lowell Cooperative Broadcasting Council, which used faculty and resources from BU, Harvard, BC, MIT, Northeastern, and Tufts. The Raytheon Company donated a 10-kilowatt transmitting tower. When WBUR opened, it was a low-power operation -- 480 watts of radiated power -- and there were fewer than 5,000 radio sets in the Boston area capable of receiving FM broadcasts. Magnetic tape recording was not widely available, which meant that most of the station's broadcasting was live. BU President Daniel Marsh, who was an enthusiastic advocate of educational radio and film, had spoken on the air many times. But in his inaugural broadcast on WBUR he flubbed his speech when he departed from his prepared text. "We expect great things of WBUR," he said. "Obviously, BUR stands for Boston University Radio and the W stands for . . . for . . . well, it must stand for something!" (Note: it means that Boston is east of the Mississippi.) Today WBUR is a member station of National Public Radio. Photo by BU Photo Services


11 January 2002
Boston University
Office of University Relations