World War II. Not the most romantic of beginnings for a college radio station, yet Colorado State University’s radio station owes its birth to this world event .
Colorado State University, (known as Colorado Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, Colorado A&M for short in the mid 20th century) was serving upwards of 1,500 servicemen, leaving and coming back from the war in Europe. For the first time in the school’s history the number of female students outnumbered their male counterparts.
Interest in radio technology stemmed from the need for military focused schooling, many servicemen were familiar with radio and wished to continue using it during their college education.
The first show on Colorado A&M radio was ‘Agriculture in the News,’ a program started by Bob Collins in 1943 on topics of interest to the farming community such as caring for livestock or dealing with prairie fires. Since Colorado A&M was established as a college for agricultural and mechanics, this was content relevant to students, broadcasted over the University on Monday mornings.
Later, the city of Fort Collins established their first radio station, KCOL, that sought out Aggie students with it’s focus on college life. Men could qualify as radio personalities while women only had opportunities in advertisement. Over time, it became clear that the Aggies would benefit from having their own station.