The History of Saint Michael’s College Radio
WWPV’s roots lie in an AM station with the call letters WSSE-AM, created in the 1950s. The call letters stood for Society of Saint Edmund. This station was initially run by the Edmundite priests that founded Saint Michael’s, before becoming more of a student station in later years.
In 1974, the college obtained a license to operate on 88.7 FM and put it on the air as WWPV-FM, replacing WSSE. A new station was built in an old military barracks on the college’s North Campus, located at Fort Ethan Allen. WPV stood for our address, Winooski Park, Vermont. As WWPV-FM, 88.7 FM operated as a campus radio station under the nickname The Mike. The station allowed any student, faculty, or staff member of SMC to apply as a DJ, as well as members of the local community.
Throughout its existence, WWPV’s programming has been freeform in nature, playing music that can’t be heard on any commercial or mainstream radio stations in the Burlington area, including indie, jazz, blues, and folk. Each show has its own specialty, so a jazz show might be followed by an indie show, which then might be followed by a punk rock show.
In 1988, the station moved to the St. Michael’s main campus with a new studio space in the newly constructed St. Edmund’s Hall. With the wonderful invention of computers, since 1999, WWPV now airs music programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with an automated mix of music from the station’s music library when there are no DJs in the studio.
In 2014 Saint Michael’s College was granted a construction permit for a low-power FM station on 92.5 FM in Colchester. Under Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations, the college was required to divest the 88.7 FM facility upon constructing the new station; on April 8, 2015, it agreed to donate the WWPV-FM license to Vermont Public Radio. On September 14, 2015, WWPV’s programming moved to the new WWPV-LP which now resides on the second floor of the Dion Student Center.