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A Changing of the Guard at WFUV

‘The Observer’ Wins Student Journalism Awards

Cabin, Sweet Cabin

This Month in Fordham History…
Catholic Higher Education Comes to the Northeast

A Changing of the Guard at WFUV

Chuck Singleton
Ralph Jennings
Photos courtesy of WFUV  
This month, WFUV will have a new voice—longtime station manager Ralph Jennings will hand the microphone to Chuck Singleton, the station’s program director. Jennings will assume the role of director of internal and external relations on June 30, when Singleton will be named interim general manager.

“These past 25 years at WFUV have allowed me to realize a dream,” Jennings said. “From the time I was a boy, I’ve believed in the power of radio to entertain and inform. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished and grateful to all the staff, students, and colleagues, at Fordham and in the public radio system, who have contributed to our achievements.”

He took over WFUV (90.7 FM, in 1985, and turned the student-run operation into the thriving public radio station it is today. Licensed to Fordham for more than 60 years, the station now mixes a professional staff of 27 with over 90 paid interns. On Jennings’ watch, the station has grown from a weekly audience of 80,000 to more than 300,000 listeners and more than 20,000 members. Jennings also saw WFUV’s physical plant updated to include state-of-the-art studio facilities, and upgraded WFUV’s transmission facilities, so that its signal is heard much more widely throughout the New York metropolitan area.

Singleton likewise has a long history with WFUV, having joined the station in 1987 as its first director of news and public affairs. He developed WFUV’s coverage of community issues and its student training programs, and created and hosted the program Cityscape. In the past year, Singleton has served on WFUV’s strategic planning committee, and was recently named its chair. The process already has resulted in a unified vision for the station, and will serve in further moving WFUV toward its goals, including increased listeners and membership.

I’m honored and humbled to be asked to step in as interim general manager,” Singleton said. “It’s been a real privilege to work with Ralph in charting the direction of the station. I have great faith in the future of WFUV as it reshapes itself as a public media organization for the 21st century.”


‘The Observer’ Wins Student Journalism Awards

The Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) has named The Observer the best non-weekly newspaper ata four-year college. The award was based on the newspaper’s overall quality, including its content, design and photography.

The announcement was made at the ACP’s 2011 National College Newspaper Conference in Hollywood. The prize comes one year after The Observer won second place in that category. It had claimed the first place prize in 2009 and 2008.

“I am so proud of every member of The Observer staff,” said editor-in-chief Liz Bowen, FCLC ’11, at the time of the win.

“Many of our editors were new to the board this year, and it’s been so rewarding to see such a talented and passionate group of people come together to produce a top-quality publication,” she added. “The dedication and hard work I’ve seen The Observer staff put forward this year have been truly amazing.”

The Observer is the student newspaper of Fordham College at Lincoln Center. It is produced entirely by a non-paid student staff on a bi-weekly basis and is advised by Elizabeth Stone, Ph.D., professor of English and communications. The Observer began publishing in 1981.

Stone noted that the newspaper also has been honored by the New York Press Association.

“I’m proud of The Observer writers and editors for their continuing excellence in the field of student journalism,” she said. “The New York Press Association’s First Place Award among college newspapers in New York state is particularly gratifying since The Observer had come in second—right behind Ithaca College—for several years.

“David has finally beat Goliath.”

—Patrick Verel


Photo by John Wehr, Ph.D.

Cabin, Sweet Cabin

Last summer, Fordham broke ground on the Calder Center’s log cabin facility, a 3,800-square-foot building that will house 12 graduate research students when completed later this year.

The cabin, pictured above, is well on its way to completion. It is constructed of solid Pennsylvania pine logs in a rustic Adirondack style, designed to blend with the surrounding wooded area and the historic turn-of-the-century cabin already on site.

The new cabin will occupy two of the 113 forested acres used for ecological research and environmental education. It will play a critical role in helping increase the quality and quantity of research that can be conducted at the Center, according to John Wehr, Ph.D., director of the Calder Center.

—Janet Sassi


This Month in Fordham History…

Catholic Higher Education Comes to the Northeast


The first half of the 19th century was a less-than-auspicious time for Catholic higher education in America.

In the 1830s, there were only a handful of Catholic colleges in the country, and none in the Northeast. They faced endemic hostility; when a college begun by Bishop John Dubois in Nyack burned down in 1837, a crowd of Protestants stood by cheering. Jesuit schools faced particular difficulties—as of 1813, there were only 50 members of the Society of Jesus in America.

Then, Bishop John Hughes of New York—a bold leader who was fiercely protective of his flock—set out to establish a seminary and a college on a 106-acre tract he had purchased at Fordham Manor, inthe town and county of Westchester. The school would eventually flourish, overcoming its initial administrative and staffing difficulties to become the first Catholic institution of higher learning in the Northeast.

But in the beginning, there were all of six students at the college, initially named for St. John the Baptist, which opened on a date that also happened to mark Hughes' birthday: June 24, 1841.

—Chris Gosier




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