KUCR Celebrates 50 Years on the Air

The official campus radio station rings in its 50th anniversary with a gala on Oct. 6

This photo featuring two of KUCR’s founders, Bill Farmer (left) and Hans Wynholds (right), was taken by photographic icon Ansel Adams when he visited the station during the UC’s “Fiat Lux” project in 1966. Photo courtesy of KUCR Archive Project

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — UC Riverside’s iconic radio station, KUCR 88.3 FM, marks 50 years since the inaugural broadcast in 1966.

To celebrate, UCR alumni will gather at KUCR’s 50th Anniversary Gala and Banquet at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6 at the Alumni & Visitors Center. Guest speakers include Max Burgos, Jane Block, U.S. Congressman Mark Takano; California Assemblyman Jose Medina; former KUCR manager Jeff Shaffer; community activist and alumnus Tanya Humphrey; and numerous others from KUCR’s past, present, and future.

The event will feature dinner, a live band, and dancing. All alumni and friends of UCR are invited to attend the celebration. The deadline to register online and pay the $50 fee ($1 for every year that KUCR has been on air) is on Friday, Sept. 23. For more information, email kucrgala@gmail.com or call (951) 827-3140.

UCR students first proposed the idea of a radio station to Chancellor Ivan Hinderaker and received his full support, as well as $10,000 in start up funds from the UC Regents. Since the opening broadcast in 1966, the station has played a diverse format of musical styles, including indie rock, jazz, classical, progressive hip-hop and more, along with a variety of public affairs 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year. It has won two “Golden Mike” awards, both for documentaries focused on racial tensions in Los Angeles.

More than 4,000 UCR alumni — who’ve gone to become legislators, activists, Pulitzer Prize winners, venture capitalists, producers — have staffed the station, which is located in same building since 1966, across from the Aberdeen & Inverness residence hall.

In honor of this milestone, we have gathered comments from a few notable KUCR alumni:

KUCR flyer for the 50th Anniversary Gala.

KUCR flyer for the 50th Anniversary Gala.

  • HANS WYNHOLDS, ’67 (KUCR founding manager, Silicon Valley venture capitalist):“Fifty years ago the campus was new with very few students and an open agenda. KUCR was one of many initiatives underway to help flesh out the campus environment. For me, it was an opportunity to build something from scratch. It was a challenge.”
  • LOUIS VANDENBERG, ’77 (KUCR director and general manager): “When I came into KUCR, I saw that the university had all kinds of resources; we have professors who can comment on world issues and politics, and we could draw upon the intellectual resources of the campus and do really interesting programs. That was the inspiration to actively recruit members of diverse communities who were in the student body and in the larger community to do programs here.”
  • MAC TAYLOR, (KUCR DJ, 1974-1976, California legislative analyst): “My experiences at KUCR certainly contributed positively to my career. First, it offered me opportunities to try new things, often times pushing my comfort level. It also required a lot of public speaking, which was a great way to build confidence in one’s ability to handle such situations. Being at KUCR also exposed me to a wide variety of people, which was helpful in understanding the different perspectives individuals have. All of these factors have been beneficial to me in my career.”
  • JANE BLOCK, (KUCR host, 1978, “Women’s Space, Women’s Place,” founder of the UCR Women’s Resource Center and the Commission for Women in Riverside County): “This [time period, the 1970s] was a big moment for women, but women were very unpracticed in [making] public statements…KUCR was a fantastic entry for them, radio was their first media exposure. KUCR taught me how to be conscientious and how to present myself with the media. Having that visibility helped the women’s movement in Riverside tremendously.”
  • MAX BURGOS, ’92 (KUCR DJ from 1989 to 1992, Emmy award-nominee, TV producer): “My time at KUCR wasn’t just about deejaying, which I loved, or being on air, which I also loved, but the student-run organization, learning the ins and outs of working with a team, and managing a staff. Also, most importantly, I got my first job in entertainment as a direct result of KUCR.”
  • DEXTER THOMAS, ’06 (KUCR program director from 2003-2008, Pulitzer Prize winner, Vice news host): “Asking me what my favorite memory at KUCR is like asking me what the last six years of my college life was like. KUCR was my passion and focus. I would skip classes but I never missed a show; I never was once less than 100 percent on point for a show.”

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-2645
E-mail: lille.bose@ucr.edu

Additional Contacts

Louis Vandenberg
E-mail: louis.vandenberg@ucr.edu

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