Here’s to you, WPGU, from an alum who rose from the graveyard shift to radio station manager during her four years on campus.
“I can’t think back about my time at the U of I without reminiscing fondly of WPGU 107.1 FM and Illini Media,” says Courtney Yuen (’13), now a TV reporter in Ohio’s largest city, at Columbus’ NBC4. “When I wasn’t in class or working one of my many waitressing or bartending jobs, I was on the air, programming music or writing radio news briefs for The Daily Illini.
“512 East Green Street was our home away from home. I spent more time there than any other place around campus. Slept there a few times, too. My college life revolved around WPGU and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
“I was so excited when I was told I’d get to co-host an on-air radio shift, despite it being from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. It was my on-air debut and to me it didn’t matter if it was the worst possible shift. With the help and guidance from managers before me, I eventually became the station’s program director during my senior year.
“Besides my passion for broadcasting and music, it was the people — mostly fellow students — I met there that made it so special. Not all of us were reaching for a career in radio or television. We just loved working together and creating something we could share with the entirety of Champaign-Urbana.
“We were a scrappy crew of college kids, but we poured our hearts into that radio station. Besides my close friends from home, they were the first people to welcome me with open arms, with no judgment. They didn’t care about your talent, but how hard you were willing to work as a collective.
“My ’PGU family is still close to my heart and always will be.”