WESU 88.1 FM Celebrates 80th Anniversary with Free Form Jubilee

Olivia DrakeDecember 12, 20195min


Wesleyan’s community-based radio station, WESU 88.1 FM, celebrated its 80th anniversary on Dec. 8 with a Free Form Jubilee.

The event, held in the Daniel Family Commons, featured special musical performances and talks by local dignitaries.

Established in 1939, WESU began as one of the first student-owned and -operated radio stations in the country. That fall, Wesleyan freshman Arch Doty Jr. began broadcasting his homemade 1-watt AM transmitter from his Clark Hall dorm room. Eighty years later, WESU is among the largest student groups on Wesleyan’s campus, uniting nearly 150 student and community volunteer broadcasters.

The event featured Noah Baerman, director of the Wesleyan jazz ensemble; Cormac Chester ’20, public affairs director of WESU; Connecticut Senator Mary Abrams; City of Middletown Mayor Ben Florsheim ’14; Ben Michael, manager of WESU; Americana musicians Rani Arbo and Scott Kessel; Clifton Watson, director of the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships; Kate Rushin, award-winning poet; Don Minott, roots-reggae singer; Wesleyan rapper Laszlo; Banning Eyre ’79 of Afropop Worldwide; The Super Girls Group, including Lilian Walker of The Exciters, Margaret Ross Williams of The Cookies, and Louise Murray of The Hearts and Jaynetts; and Randy and Freddie Moses of Middletown’s legendary R&B group, The House of Moses.

WESU’s eight-decade legacy of service can be explored in an online exhibit.

(Photos by Simon Duan ’23)

Noah Baerman
Noah Baerman.
roots reggae singer. Don Minott
Don Minott.

City of Middletown Mayor Ben Florsheim '14
Ben Florsheim ’14.
WESU 88.1
Kate Rushin.
WESU 88.1
Ben Michael.
Banning Eyre '79 of Afropop Worldwide
Banning Eyre ’79.
WESU 88.1
From left, Lilian Walker, Margaret Ross Williams, and Louise Murray.
Clifton Watson.
Clifton Watson.
WESU 88.1
Cormac Chester ’20.
WESU 88.1
WESU 88.1
From left, Freddie Moses, Randy Moses, and Scott Kessel.
The WESU Board of Directors were honored at the event. All directors host their own radio programs.