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WRPI Radio Station records

Identifier: AC 34

Scope and Contents

The WRPI Radio Station records (AC 34) consist of material related to WRPI's activities, primarily programming between 1950-1989. Most notably, the records include meeting minutes and budget proposals. Within this timeframe, WRPI gained susbstantial listenership in Troy due in part to WRPI's transition in 1947 with new leadership established by RPI Electrical Engineering student Carl J. Kunz, Jr.. Kunz started the Rensselaer Broadcasting Association, which led WRPI to be one of the most popular student run radio stations in the region. Records documenting their space and planning agendas between 1950-1965 emphasize the stations desire to increase the listener community. Having started out as an AM station, by 1956 WRPI proposed a move to FM. After getting approval from RPI and the FCC, WRPI began broadcasting at 91.5 FM on November 1, 1957. Furthermore, a collection of audio recordings of WRPI broadcasts dating from 1985-1989 from their program series entitled "Peace Radio Broadcasts" is included along with the 30th Anniversary broadcast of RPI alum speakers remarking  on WHAZ and W2SZ history in addition to other topics.


  • Created: 1947-1989


Biographical or Historical Information

WRPI radio began in 1920 under the name WHAZ-AM, the RPI-owned AM radio station. With limited broadcast time in the early years, WRPI began making more of an impact on the listening community around 1947 when Carl J. Kunz, JR, a student in the Electrical Engineering Department began the Rensselaer Broadcasting Association, a new group responsible for a large portion of WRPI’s broadcasting schedule. Eventually WRPI gained a substantial listenership and was the only radio station in the 1960s that focused on popular-music FM station in the area. Further still, WRPI laid claim to the region by taking their programming further, becoming a progressive rock station in the late 1960s. By the 1970s other stations became progressive rock and WRPI returned to the free-form format remaining stable for approximately 35 years. WRPI is still a student run radio station today.

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5.40 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Records include fraternity and dorm proposals (1954); meeting minutes (1953-1972); correspondence (1958-1973); maintenance logs (1956-1961), editorials (1971-1972); technical notes (1971-1972); WRPI Handbook (1947-1972); report concerning Rho Tau (1955-1963); photos (before 1980); and audio recordings of WRPI radio broadcasts dating from 1985 to 1989.

Arrangement Note

Arranged in three series: Series I, Administrative Records, consists of five sub-series: Minutes, Correspondence, Programming, Proposals, and Miscellany. The first four sub-series are arranged in chrononologal order while Miscellany is arranged alphabetically. Series II, Broadcasts, has two sub-series, Peace Radio Broadcasts, and 30th Anniversary which are arranged alphabetically by broadcast title. Series III, WRPI Station Logs, are arranged chronologically.

J. Kuba
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Repository Details

Part of the Institute Archives and Special Collections Repository

110 8th Street
Institute Archives and Special Collections
Rensselaer Libraries, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy NY 12180-3590 US
518 276 8340