There has been a secret hidden beneath the radio cabinetry at WFNP, the College’s student-run radio station, since 1999.
For the last 20-plus years, graduating seniors who worked at the station have signed the oak console board after their final on-air sign off – leaving behind a time capsule of DJ names, show information, doodles and dates of service.
“Signing the board in 2005 was a huge milestone leading into graduation and a truly sentimental moment for me after four years of involvement with the campus radio station,” said Val Turco ’05 (Communication & Media), who now works as director of the Campus Media Center. “When I returned to New Paltz in 2018, one of the first things I did was check the signatures to see how many more had been added by students and alumni.”
Much to Turco’s delight, the board is now home to dozens more signatures. Graduating seniors from the Class of 2020 Emily Harter, Dani Walpole, Eddie Faro, Greg Bourne, Belle Steed, Jenny Russo, Jack Kiessel, Matthew Ellis, Sacha Fleming and Theresa Marzullo plan to participate in the rite of passage to commemorate their time at the station as well.
“Before I came to WFNP I felt like I was missing something from my college experience; and now I have a feeling that in 20 years I’ll look back and consider this time some of my fondest memories,” said Harter. “I’ve learned so much, met so many amazing people, had so many indescribable experiences here that some people go their whole lifetime without. I’m really proud to be the last station manager for the current studio. I can’t wait to come back and see the new one.”
As the Campus Media Center, home to the campus radio and TV stations and the student newspaper, undergoes a planned renovation to upgrade the space for future generations of media producers, Turco has made sure that the console board would be preserved and stored for safekeeping while construction is underway.
“The history, memories and emotion behind those signatures are ones that I did not want to lose,” said Turco. “We look forward to our renovated space and we plan to mount the board in the new media center, where students can find inspiration from the many alumni and seniors who have shared their signatures.”
WFNP is a non-commercial, student-run radio station whose music, talk and news broadcasts can be accessed from anywhere in the world at www.wfnp.org. Students who run the station get valuable experience on industry-standard equipment and receive FM radio certification after completing the required training process.
The radio station, like the WNPC-TV television station and The New Paltz Oracle student newspaper, is run by an executive board and comprised of student members that are responsible for its day-to-day operation.