WNTI

THE AMUSEMENT

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the charter of Centenary University! To celebrate, the blog will be highlighting past posts about Centenary’s history.

Academics are an incredibly important aspect of a college education (hopefully the most important!), but many students found that their most memorable moments were spent outside the classroom.

150.08 The RecreationAside from classes and educational pursuits, students spent their free time enjoying outdoor activities. In Centenary’s early years, students went hiking, skiing, horseback riding, etc. Horseback riding was very popular, and there was a Riding Club for students taking riding classes, and an Outing Club that regularly scheduled excursions to local stables for all students. Swimming was also a popular pastime. In the 1930s, Centenary started hosting a yearly interclass swim meet. Each class competed in events including the egg and spoon race and ‘swimming with arms alone’. The 1940s marked the beginning of the Aquatic Club, which promoted interest in swimming, life-saving, and water fun.

One of the earliest and most accessible sources of extracurricular entertainment for students was academic. Students joined societies to strengthen their elocution, performed music or sang in recitals, and joined clubs that furthered their educational interests. The music department was the institute’s largest in its earlier years, and there were many musical clubs for students – The Mandolin and Banjo Club, The String Glee Club, the C.C.I. Concert Band, and the C.C.I. Orchestra, which thrived for many years. Students in Chorus gave town concerts and even produced records. Many students enjoyed activities that would help develop professional skills: Students in the school’s radio program spent their time planning radio shows. The radio station was directed by a member of the faculty and staffed by students in radio and television programs.

Let’s not forget social activities! Students had many yearly events for students as a chance to get to know each other better and to unwind. The school held several dances a year, each hosted by a different class. They also created the Winter Carnival with a winter themed dance, skiing, snow sculpture making, sleigh rides, and concerts. The Ice Breaker at the start of the school year welcomed new students to Centenary, and the Songs on the Steps at the end of the school year bid farewell to graduating Seniors. Students found many activities to entertain themselves while they were at Centenary.

 

 

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WNTI

“High on top of Mount Bethel Road at Oak Hill Manor there is a tower…”

This sentence appears in the January 28, 1958 issue of the student newspaper, Spilled Ink, along with a picture of the tower. What was it? It was Centenary College’s new radio tower! In mid-February of 1958 WNTI began broadcasting from a studio in Van Winkle Hall.

1953 or 1954: Carol Burgess Lackland, '54, and others broadcasting at Centenary Junior College's radio station, five years before WNTI.

1953 or 1954: Carol Burgess Lackland, ’54, and others broadcasting at Centenary Junior College’s radio station, five years before WNTI.

The call letters ‘NTI’ were requested by the college and are the initials of a Latin phrase that translates to “Know Thyself”, a fitting motto for an educational institution. When the station opened, it was directed by a member of the faculty and staffed by students in radio and television programs. The station was on air from 3 to 7 pm Monday through Friday, as well as covering special college events. The college began broadcasting 24 hours a day around 1980, when the ability to record programming ahead of time became available.

Broadcasting in 1960

Broadcasting in 1960

The station hosted yearly Theater of the Air contests, in which local high schools produced half hour radio shows. During the first contest, students presented the gift of a radio to Centenary College’s President Seay to thank him for establishing a radio facility.

1958 president seay rcvs radio

1958: President Seay, center, receives a radio as thanks while Ernest Dalton, Director of Public Relations, looks on.

Late 1930s: Bette Cooper, Miss America 1937, and others on WEST out of Easton PA.

Late 1930s: Bette Cooper, Miss America 1937, and others on WEST out of Easton PA.

Before Centenary had its own station, students were able to get practical experience in radio by broadcasting over local radio stations and by simulating real broadcasts in their own mock radio station. 

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Most recently the radio station had 3 full time staff that appeared on air, 29 community volunteers who broadcast on a weekly basis (including 2 student-run programs), and a 137 member street team – those who did not appear on air but helped at WNTI events.

On October 12, 2015, it was announced that WNTI would be purchased by Philadelphia public radio station WXPN. The changeover happened October 15 at noon, but WNTI will live on with the launch of WNTI.org Internet Radio from Centenary College. Friday, October 30, 2015, marks the new beginning for WNTI.org, and the Centenary community is looking forward to attending a celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony from 5 to 6 pm in the parking lot of the Lackland Center. The event is open to the public and we are eager to celebrate the launch of WNTI.org.