Seton Hall University

05/31/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/31/2023 12:48

WSOU Celebrates 75th Anniversary at Hall of Fame Induction

John Fanta '17, who is currently a FOX College Hoops Play-by-Play Broadcaster, was presented with the Distinguished Young Alumnus Award.

This past spring, Seton Hall University's student-run radio station, WSOU 89.5 FM, celebrated 75 years of continuous operation. Festivities included a gathering of more than 300 station alumni for dinner and the induction of three new members into the WSOU Hall of Fame: alumni Joe Reilly '60 and Tracy Gottlieb '75, and Former WSOU General Manager Mark Maben. In addition, John Fanta '17, who is currently a FOX College Hoops Play-by-Play Broadcaster, was presented with the station's Distinguished Young Alumnus Award.

The WSOU Hall of Fame and Young Alum Award honors notable alumni who have made significant contributions to their professions and recognizes their involvement with Seton Hall University's radio station. Inductees are chosen based on their professional accomplishments, WSOU student career activities, service to WSOU and Seton Hall University after graduation, support of current students, personal examples of servant leadership and involvement with alumni activities.

Former Professor of Journalism and alumna Tracy Gottlieb '75 with the Hall of Fame award.

During the celebration, Tracy Gottlieb and Joe Reilly were presented with awards by Chief Engineer Frank Scafidi and Director of Production/Facilities Christopher Aurilio, respectively. Scafidi also presented the award for Mark Maben to his wife Julie Burstein, who accepted it on his behalf. The station's Sales Manager, Jennifer Kajzer, presented the 2023 Young Alumnus Award to John Fanta. Additionally, during the event, Aurilio announced the names of the recipients of the Endowed Scholarship Fund, which included current students Michael Bellifemini, Michael Federico, and Joseph Mandara.

Hall of Fame inductee Joe Reilly '60, who served as president of the New York State Broadcasters Association for 31 years, and Director of Production/Facilities Christopher Aurilio.

"The honorees were selected not only for their successful professional careers, but also how they support their peers and mentor the younger people coming up in the field. They were considered for this honor because of how they give back, and how they have continued to serve WSOU and Seton Hall," said Aurilio.

WSOU Staff Representative Chris Kovalcik reflected on the event. "Being able to attend WSOU's 75th anniversary was an honor. I was also able to meet the legendary people who shaped WSOU into the award-winning college radio station that it is today," he said. "Talking to these individuals was a privilege that gave myself and my peers invaluable insights that will undoubtably benefit us at 89.5 WSOU and in our futures."

The dinner and induction ceremony were held at The Madison Hotel and also helped raise money for the station's scholarship fund.

A Long History
WSOU began broadcasting on April 14, 1948 when Father Thomas J. Gilhooly threw the switch that turned on the station's transmitter. Envisioned as a station focused on experiential-learning and pre-professional development, WSOU has fulfilled that mission since its inception. Thousands of students have received their first on-air experience at the station and many of them have gone on to successful careers in broadcasting, including ESPN's Bob Ley and John Brickley, WINS' Glenn Schuck, NYC traffic reporters Christina Lang, Kelly Dillon and Christina Stoffo, NJ 101.5's Jen Ursillo, and former N.Y. State Broadcasters Association president and CEO Joseph A. Reilly . Since 1986, WSOU has programmed a hard-rock format that has earned the station a worldwide reputation for breaking new bands and recognizing emerging talent.

"There have been students who attended the University because of the reputation of WSOU -they wanted to be part of the station," said Aurilio. "If you look at the accomplishments of our alumni, you'll see how impactful the work they do as student staff members was, and that it lasts a long time after graduation."

Part of the emerging College of Human Development, Culture, and Media, WSOU has always been more than a student organization. Since the beginning, the station has been a hands-on learning lab focused on skills development and serving listeners.

"The foundational commitment to experiential-learning is one of the reasons WSOU has produced literally thousands of station alumni who go on to radio, TV, new media, news, sports, music, and entertainment industry careers," said Interim Dean Joseph Martinelli. "I've seen firsthand that there is no better place to 'learn by doing' than WSOU."

"Not only does WSOU provide Seton Hall students with a unique role that can help them develop critical skills, but it also allows them to meet a diverse group of people, and deepen connections with their community," said Kovalcik. "I am a history major, and I never thought I would be in the position I am now. I have made a ton of friends and am connected to colleagues that I would have never met otherwise."
He added, "Other students and alumni I have talked to have cited WSOU as being formative and career defining."