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Wireless Radio of Union College Logo.tif
City of license Schenectady, New York
Broadcast area Schenectady, Capital District
Branding WRUC 89.7 FM
The First Station In The Nation
Frequency 89.7 MHz
First air date October 14, 1920
Format College Radio
ERP 100 watts
HAAT -27 meters
Class A
Callsign meaning Wireless Radio of Union College
Owner Union College
Website http://wruc.union.edu

WRUC-FM is an independent college radio station owned and operated by Union College in Schenectady, New York. The station is licensed by the FCC to operate on the frequency 89.7 Mhz at an effective radiated power of 100 watts. The station also streams its content on Internet radio at wruc.union.edu. The station has long claimed to be the first station in the nation, a distinction that has been challenged by other stations.

WRUC is run entirely by the students of Union College. The station offers an eclectic mix of alternative programming, Union sports and news to listeners within a 15-mile radius.

The station's offices and studios are located in the Reamer Campus Center on the Union College campus.


WRUC became the first student operated radio facility in the United States when it began broadcasting on October 14, 1920.[1] The station is widely recognized as America's first college radio station.[2] The New York Times noted in its April 25, 1921 edition that a broadcast by the Union College radio club could be heard 1,000 miles away. The paper also detailed one month later an experiment in which a baby being pushed in a carriage through Schenectady was able to receive a radio broadcast. While some of these claims are disputed, station records indicate that it was the "first station in the nation", airing experimental content before Pittsburgh's KDKA. It is also believed to have aired one of the first sports broadcasts in the country.

In 1920, the station was called 2ADD, the personal call letters of one of the members of the club at the time. The club has gone through numerous call letters including, "2XQ," "WRL," "UBS," and "UCRS."[1] The station previously aired on 640 AM and on 90.9 FM, before assuming its current dial position in the mid-1980s.

Among the station's most famous alumni is Dick Ferguson, the 2002 National Radio Award winner, as named by the National Association of Broadcasters. Ferguson retired as the Executive Vice President of Cox Radio in 2006.

The station currently operates regularly only when Union College is in session.


  1. ^ a b Union College Concordiensis, October 8, 1975
  2. ^ "Union College: Inside Scoop on Attending Union College". College Toolkit. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°49′05″N 73°55′44″W / 42.818°N 73.929°W / 42.818; -73.929