A transformation has taken place inside the Gannett Center. Gone are the boxes of old yearbooks, faded posters from the past, and worn out furniture. Now, there’s state-of-the-art radio equipment, a neatly organized record collection spanning the decades, and music streaming from all corners of the studio.
KDAWG, the campus radio station, is back, given its voice again thanks to students like station manager Evan Sanford ’17. When the Los Angeles native started his freshman year at the University of Redlands last fall, he knew he wanted to be part of the University’s station, and asked about it while on a tour. "They told me, ‘You can start it again,’” Sanford said.
Sanford went straight to work, meeting with Student Life and administrators to secure space and funding. With the help of a small group of like-minded students – many of them also freshmen – a revived KDAWG started to take shape. The archivist was brought in to share the history of the station, social media pages were set up, proposals were written, and artists were emailed. Once funding came in, the crew purchased several necessities, and soon it was time to determine their roles within KDAWG.
“We started it with pure motivation and willingness to bring it back,” Sanford said. “We’re lucky to have support from administration, faculty, students, and alumni. They have been so generous beyond belief. I am so grateful, and this means the world to me. Every day I come in here and am reminded that this is a great school to do this for a motivated student.”
All that work paid off in April, when KDAWG launched online. Since then, more than 11,000 people around the world have tuned in, including listeners in Greenland, Turkey, Australia, and an island off the coast of Nigeria. Here at home, KDAWG is streamed in the Commons and different venues around campus, and will soon start broadcasting remotes from games and other events.
“It’s great to have student-run radio happening again at the University of Redlands,” Sanford said. “It’s been a rewarding year to have it come back after all the odds.”
Radio has a long history at the University of Redlands, starting with KUR in the 1950s, which morphed into KUOR in the 1960s. After KUOR ended in 1999, it was re-launched as KDAWG in 2003, which went dormant again in 2011. With this latest resurrection, Sanford hopes it’s here to stay.
“The last thing I want to see is this being gone in five years,” he said. “I’ve been so lucky this whole time to have such a great group of people working on this with me. This thing is run on the motivation of others.”
Sanford and assistant station manager Ariana Marciel ’17 are both excited about what KDAWG has become and how it will continue to grow. They also appreciate the friendships that have formed over the past year.
“I feel like out of all the organizations I’ve joined, I can be myself here,” Marciel said. “People don’t judge you, and there are a lot of like-minded, true and honest people.”
“Some of my best friends are part of the station,” Sanford said. “It makes it so worthwhile to know they are just as passionate as I am.”
Written by: Catherine Garcia