Alumni Rewind Recap
For sixteen years, Central Michigan’s homecoming meant broadcasting alumni returning to WMHW-FM. For the weekend, graduates would once again be our on-air voices, serving as DJ’s and guiding listeners through an oldies rock marathon, stopping to reminisce along the way.
We called it the Alumni Takeover. This year, we took it back.
The Alumni Takeover, founded by Bill Thompson, Tom Moore and several other 1970’s alums, began as a way to reunite CMU graduates in the place where their careers started: in Moore Hall. Alums from various years, many of them still in the radio business, returned to their old stomping grounds to relive memories of their time at WMHW.
During Takeover weekends, the current staff traditionally stepped back. Alumni provided their own music and assumed DJ responsibilities during the entirety of the event.
After nearly two decades of this tradition, the 2017-18 staff decided to put its own stamp on homecoming. Instead of falling back, we wanted to work together with alums to create the best throwback weekend possible.
And so, the Alumni Takeover became the Alumni Rewind.
Prior to homecoming, we assembled our own playlists. Instead of The Lumineers and Coldplay on Mountain 91.5, we dusted off the Springsteen and Billy Joel. Instead of Tyler the Creator or Kendrick Lamar, we threw it back to Beastie Boys and Run DMC on 101.1 The Beat. Each playlist boasted nearly 250 songs, enough for three straight days of old school music.
Our station imaging changed, too. Many alumni were generous enough to record short voice spots to promote the event. Not only did they volunteer to once again be a part of homecoming weekend, they helped us spread the word.
When Oct. 13 arrived, students joined alumni on Mountain 91.5, trading stories between sets of rock and roll music. By the time the weekend was over, both current and former students agreed that the change had been a positive one.
For the current staff, the Alumni Rewind served as an important reminder: WMHW is not a social club. It’s a commitment, and a chance to learn about and fall in love with radio. It’s a place our alumni want to come back to, and a place where we can create our own legacy.
After his air shift, Bill Thompson gave out pins to several members of the WMHW executive staff. Each one was shaped like a torch. To us, the symbolism was clear.
The alumni had passed us the torch today, but one day, we too will have to give it back.