HAYS, KS -- While many groups and ideas are just getting their start in the new century, the Fort Hays State University Department of Information Networking and Telecommunications can boast a half-century of experience in one of the oldest forms of mass communication--the radio.
The INT Department will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the FHSU Radio Program and honor its founder, Jack Heather, on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2000.
An open house will be held in Heather Hall from 1-2 p.m. where dessert will be served. After the FHSU football game, approximately 5 p.m., a gathering will be held at G. Williker's Deli and Bar at 507 W. 7th, Hays.
Current INT Department Chair, Mark Bannister, will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the celebration.
Becky Kiser, instructor of information networking and telecommunications, has been one of the driving forces behind the anniversary celebration and has produced a video highlighting the history of the Radio Program at FHSU. The video will be shown during the reception in Heather Hall.
The day will be a time to look back at the history of radio and television broadcasting at FHSU and allow alumni and parents to find out what is currently going on with the Information Networking and Telecommunications Media Studies Program and where it is headed. It will also serve as a time to reminisce for alumni and faculty.
For 50 years Fort Hays State University has been able to boast a well-recognized radio program.
In 1950, university President M.C. Cunningham hired Jack Heather to develop the radio education program. Two 2-credit-hour courses were offered through the Speech Department. Those classes were Radio Speaking and Radio Broadcasting.
By 1952, the broadcast curriculum offered through the Speech Department equaled 11 hours and in 1958 expanded to six courses.
FHSU's campus radio station, KFHS, began operation in 1961. The goal of this station was to give students practical experience in the radio industry. Programs on the station were broadcast in the Memorial Union. Broadcasts were extended to Custer Hall in 1963 and to McGrath, Agnew, McMindes and Wiest Halls in 1964.
During that time, television programs were also started. With that advancement, the radio and TV programs began working together on broadcasts.
After spending 26 years broadcasting just to the FHSU residence halls, KFHS Radio expanded its broadcast area to include the city of Hays through the Hays Cable FM system in 1990. Broadcasts can currently be heard at 98.3 on Hays Cable-FM.
In 1996, the radio program along, with the TV program, were transferred to the new INT Department. At that time, 18 students were in the department.
During its time, the radio program has been located in several locations on campus. It began on the second floor of Sheridan Coliseum, then moved to second floor of Malloy Hall in 1965 and, in 1981, it moved to the current location in Heather Hall.