WRUW has its earliest roots in "WFSM", started in 1946 by the Flora Stone Mather Radio Club at what was then Western Reserve University which presented programing via a public address system. This was followed by the AMcarrier current station WRAR in 1955. Finally, on February 26, 1967, the FCC granted a license under the callsign WRUW-FM. Western Reserve merged with Case Institute of Technology five months later.
WRUW began as a 10-watt monoaural station, gained stereo capability in 1974 and saw a power increase to 1000 watts in 1980. WRUW's power was boosted to its current level of 15,000 watts on March 5, 2002.
Over the years, WRUW has worked to maintain ties to the community, co-sponsoring events with Case Western Reserve University and other University Circle institutions, maintaining a relationship with the Hessler Street Fair, and providing a voice for community members not otherwise associated with Case Western Reserve University.
WRUW is open to both students and members of the Cleveland community. Completion of a semester long training course is required. Summer events include Studio-A-Rama (mainly Indie rock and pop acts), usually held the Saturday after Labor Day. Webcasting has opened up a new audience for WRUW. Listeners from around the world are now able to listen and send email to WRUW's programmers and staff.