|Slogan||"Ruston's Rock Alternative"|
|Callsign meaning||K Louisiana Polytechnic Institute (the former name of Louisiana Tech University)|
|Owner||Louisiana Tech University|
KLPI is a non-commercial educational college radio station owned by Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. The station is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to broadcast at 89.1 MHz with an effective power of 4 kW. It is also licensed to operate a studio to transmitter microwave link, call sign WHQ444. KLPI is student-operated and allows any Louisiana Tech student to become a member of the radio station. The music selection is primarily a mix of alternative rock, college rock, indie, and mainstream rock; however, requests from almost any genre are also accepted.
KLPI was founded to maintain interest in radio as a communication medium. The radio station began as WLPI-AM in 1966 by a group of students in a graduate-level Electrical Engineering class. The students launched the experimental radio station to study carrier currents, the subject of their thesis paper. The Electrical Engineering students from the graduate-level class used their own money to rent an office on Railroad Avenue in downtown Ruston, LA and founded the start-up and operation of WLPI-AM. The letters LPI in the station’s call sign were selected to represent Louisiana Polytechnic Institute, the name of the university before it was renamed Louisiana Tech University.
After three years of operation, Louisiana Tech University and the university’s Student Government Association brought the radio station onto the Tech campus and housed them in a room in the Dramatic Arts building (now known as Howard Auditorium).
In 1972, the radio station began the transition from WLPI-AM to KLPI-FM. Over the next two years, KLPI-FM started broadcasting at 10 watts of power. WLPI-AM ceased operations in 1974 after maintenance problems developed with the carrier current equipment.
KLPI-FM moved out of Howard Auditorium in 1982 due to renovations at the auditorium. The radio station moved around several times on Tech campus that year before finding its home for the next 20 years in a double-wide mobile home at 900 Gilman Street on Louisiana Tech's South Campus in Ruston.
By 1998, with the trailer rapidly deteriorating, KLPI partnered with the Louisiana Tech School of Architecture to design a new studio in the former Tech Express store near the Student Center on the main campus. The final accepted design features a unique circular broadcast booth in the center of the building. Construction was completed in the spring quarter of 1999 and the new studio officially began operating that summer.
Founders of KLPI (then called WLPI) included Robert Downs, Rhett McMahn, John Brewer & Dalton Williams. The first studio was in Rhett McMahon's dormitory room serving McFarland Hall and Jenkins Hall with surplus transmitters modified to transmit on 770 AM. After the first year of operations, the small group of students petitioned the student union for funding to expand coverage to additional dormitories. Gaining approval and funding Rhett McMahon, John Brewer and Dalton Williams buried coaxial cable across the campus expanding to all of the campus dormitories. The original circuits allowing carrier current operation were designed by Rhett McMahon an undergraduate student, not by a graduate student as indicated above. Rhett McMahon and John Brewer went on to found Louisiana Network, a statewide broadcast network serving the State of Louisiana in 1974 which continues today. Updated by Dalton Williams, Class of 69.