On July 29, 1968, at 7:05 p.m., KCPR went on the air for the first time.
“Good evening ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another full evening of pleasurable listening. This is campus radio, 91.3 megahertz on your FM dial, educational FM for San Luis Obispo, broadcasting with 1.8 watts of power. We hope you enjoy tonight’s program,” was the first announcement.
Now, 50 years later, the country’s No. 1-ranked college radio station is celebrating half a decade of being live on the air. To celebrate, the Journalism Department is hosting festivities through the weekend of Oct. 12-14.
“KCPR is turning 50 this year, but we chose one specific weekend for all alumni to come and hangout where they went to school,” General Manager of KCPR Ally Millard said. “It’s basically a huge birthday party.”
Here is everything you need to know:
On Friday evening, a panel of media experts will kick off the weekend at The Jim Hayes Symposium by addressing the question: Is journalism broken? The event will take place on campus in the Advanced Technology Lab (building 7) from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
To end the night, KCPR will celebrate in style with Los Angeles pop band Sure Sure, Hermosa Beach soul/funk band The Charities, and local electro-pop artist .paperman at SLO Brew Rock at 9:30 p.m. This birthday benefit party for KCPR offers an opportunity to eat cake, enjoy local beer and hang out with friends and fellow KCPR staff members and listeners from every decade.
On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., KCPR is hosting an open house in the Graphic Arts building (building 26), Room 301 where all are welcome to stop by the studio. KCPR alumni from each decade since the station’s inception will host guest DJ slots.
“We’re turning the station into an open house,” Millard said. “DJ’s from the past will stop in and do a 30 minute show on air and look at how much the station has changed.”
From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., join the Journalism Department at the Hall of Fame and “Through the Decades” Gala as they induct four new honorees into the Journalism Department’s Mustang Media Hall of Fame, followed by a multimedia tour of KCPR history and dinner. The event will take place at the Multi Activity Center on campus.
On Sunday, the weekend will go out with a bang at the Alumni Picnic at 2 p.m. at Cuesta Park.
“From my perspective, it’s so so cool to me because everyone that basically started this station and kept it running for 50 years is going to be in town,” Millard said. “It’s an incredible opportunity to see how [San Luis Obispo]’s culture has changed and to celebrate it with all of us.”