The Sound of Notre Dame
We are a classical and variety FM radio station serving Notre Dame's surrounding communities. Tune into 88.9 FM for classical music during the day and a large variety of programming at night including jazz, broadway, celtic, blues and alternative rock.
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The roots of WSND can be traced back to 1935, when the Golden Age of radio was in full swing and Notre Dame students were eager to get in on the action. The Notre Dame Radio Club was formed to give Domers the opportunity to produce shows for several area radio stations. While this arrangement proved sucessful for several years, some Notre Dame students wanted the chance to operate an entire radio station.
With the advent of carrier-current technology in the late 40's, colleges around the country produced programming on campus which was then linked to the dormitories through the electrical system. Notre Dame became one of the first universities in America to use this method in 1947. WND soon picked up a full program schedule and a new home in O'Shaughnessy Hall. The station featured live coverage of Notre Dame sports along with popular music of the day and an occasional dramatic presentation.
In 1953, the station changed its call letters to WNDU. Shortly after this, those call letters were soon taken by the University for their new commercial TV and radio operations. New call letters of WSND (We Serve Notre Dame) were created in 1955. In 1961, student broadcasting ventured into the world of FM radio with WSND-FM.
In 1962, authorization was given and WSND-FM 88.9 became a reality: starting with 10 watts of power, seven hours of programming per day were offered when Notre Dame classes were in session. Classical music, jazz and Broadway tunes were offered. WSND-FM developed a following in the community and soon acquired the rights to such perennial favorites as Metropolitan Opera. WSND-FM station would continue to operate the in O’Shaughnessy hall alongside the original on-campus carrier current station (WSND-AM) for the next 24 years. Both provided students with hands-on experience in broadcasting.
In 1971, a grant allowed the WSND-FM to construct a new transmitter and upgraded its signal to make the station available to the entire Michiana area with over 3,400 watts of power. The next year, WSND-FM expanded its programming to the entire year by inviting volunteers from Michiana to participate in the station's operation. Over the next decades, WSND-FM continued to offer its daily classical format and diversify its later evening programming with specialty programs such as Probe, Ideas and Issues, Performers of Our Time, An Hour of Stories, Big Bands Revisited, Jazz Traditions, Celtic Traditions Reggae Street. These specialty programs provided outlets for music not usually heard in the commercial marketplace.
Eventually the original carrier current on-campus station was spun off into a separate organization (WVFI –now on the internet at wvfi.nd.edu). After celebrating 50 years of serving the community in 1997, WSND-FM continues to develop new and innovative programming while offering valuable broadcast experience to Notre Dame students, local volunteers and serving as a unique radio alternative for Michiana. We are currently exploring ways to advance the station through streaming on the internet in the future. And the student broadcasting story continues on…