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Celebration '79 starts

Dr. John Gray, former president of Lamar, and Dr. Brock Brentlinger, dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts, tour KVLU in 1974. Photographic Services.
Dr. John Gray, former president of Lamar, and Dr. Brock Brentlinger, dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts, tour KVLU in 1974. Photographic Services.


Celebration ’79 starts

May 2, 1979

KVLU’s fifth birthday party, celebration ’79, starts today and runs through Sunday—five days of special programing, a day for each year.

It was five years ago Monday, on April 30, 1974, that the stereo voice of Lamar University first went on the air.

That first broadcast was a live ceremony from the Reading Room of the Setzer Student Center.

But KVLU’s story really began about five years before that.

Efforts to start a station at Lamar began in 1969 with the arrival on campus of Dr. Brock Brentlinger, dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts. 

“I had an interest in radio, Dr. Brentlinger said. “I had helped to establish a radio station in Illinoi. Then I found out there was an interest here.”

After meeting with other interested parties, Dr. Brentlinger got the ball rolling.

“We first started out asking for a grant from the Lamar University administration,” he said.

“We were thinking of having a small wattage station that would broadcast essentially only in the city.”

The original idea had been to locate the station on the second floor of the Music-Speech Building 

In 1972, things began to happen. Dr. DeWitte Holland, head of the department of communication, and Jerry Hudson, who would become the station’s first manager, entered the picture.

With the approval of the Board of Regents, application was made to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare for a grant to build an educational FM station. The grant came from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with the stipulation that the grant could not be used for staff salaries. As a result of this grant, KVLU became a part of the National Public Radio network established in 1970.

On June 22, 1973, the Federal Communications Commission gave the needed approval to begin construction of the noncommercial, educational FM station.

With some equipment of its own, some borrowed equipment from Channel 6 TV, and the use of Channel 12 TV’s tower, KVLU went on the air the following spring.

Yearly, KVLU has received grants to improve and replace equipment. Last year, the station received a grant to build a new tower and transmitter in Rose City.

The new facility has resulted in better signal quality, according to George Beverley, station manager. The station’s signal is now “technically solid,” Beverley said. 

The future looks good, too, Beverley said, as listeners increase and equipment is upgraded. Part of KVLU’s increase in listeners is reflected in the gain in popularity of public radio as a whole.

On its fifth birthday, KVLU is an instrumental part of community service. It serves university students as a laboratory to learn in. It serves the people for a 50-mile radius with the standard fare of the ordinary radio station plus all the benefits of public radio. 

From borrowed equipment and a place on another station’s tower to the well-equipped station that it is today, KVLU has come a long way. 

Happy might well be the keynote of this five-day celebration ’79.

Photo by Mike Cutala
Photos by Mike Cutala

...and now 

(photo on left)

Taking part in the live broadcast from the reading room of the Setzer Student Center on Monday are (left to right) Gary Hinson, KVLU-FV production director; Morgan Lyons, KVLU news director; and Charles Butt, instructir of communication.

(photo on right)

Bud Leonard (left), vice president for university relations, looks on as Dr. Andrew Johnson, vice president for administration and planning, presents as award to Lela Davis and Leonard Duckett of the Beaumont Enterprise at the luncheon Monday. 


Compiled from the archives by Ja’Leigh Cerf.

Category: Archives