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Thomas Leslie

Thomas Leslie

Professor of architecture | Iowa State | Class of 1989

Be it the study space in the Architecture Building or the DJ booth at WPGU-FM, former afternoon drive host and future Iowa State Professor Thomas Leslie spent the better part of the late 1980s in one studio or another.

Back then, Leslie recalls, WPGU was housed in the basement of Weston Hall. “It was musty, full of broken furniture and of brilliantly hacked-together equipment, and Combo, the broadcast studio, was covered in wall-to-wall carpet soundproofing that reeked of dust and mold. But it was by far my favorite spot on campus.

“Drive time was busy but there was a flow to it that I enjoyed. The phone would constantly ring with requests, I worked with great newsies who were happy to throw off their journalistic integrity to argue with a caller about whether Elvis was still alive, and every member of the staff seemed to be there because they really loved radio.

"Walking in to start a shift on a spring day and hearing Zetas blasting 107.1 out of their criminally large speakers up the street felt like we were doing our part to connect everyone in town.

“Thursdays were my favorites — we’d get done with drive and go grab chicken teriyaki sandwiches and pints at Murphy’s before I headed to the other studio for a long night of inking drawings. You could do worse.”