York Revives Radio Station with Donation from Alumnus Founder
Enter Ray Warren, a graduate of York's Class of '76, and one of the three primary founders of the station in 1974 when the college was housed in the old Montgomery Ward building on Jamaica Avenue. Earlier this year, Warren worked with Dolores Swirin-Yao, York's Vice President for Institutional Advancement, to make a $7,500 donation to upgrade the station's physical space.
"This is the official culmination of a lot of work by a lot of people over the years," said Andrews. "And we got the support of one of our alums (Ray Warren) who decided to pay it forward…."
Dr. Marcia V. Keizs, president of York College, also recalled Andrews' "dogged determination" to revive the old station, bringing it into the 21st century as an online presence. The radio station also serves as a teaching facility for York's Journalism students.
"This is really a moment we have waited for," said Keizs. "When I came here (in 2005) the foundation was strong with students and faculty. But we wanted to build on the foundation academically; and with the co-curricular. As we do this opening today, we celebrate the insight of our alumni as well as our faculty for what they do inside and outside of the classroom. We will continue to delight in all the good things we do at York."
Warren, who has enjoyed a successful career in media, recalled writing the business plan for the station and lobbying college administration for $25,000 to launch it.
"I learned a lot about being an entrepreneur at York," said Warren, executive vice president and chief revenue officer at NBC's SportsNet NY." I wrote the business plan, did the sales, and the negotiating."
Also on hand to enjoy the grand opening were two of Warren's chief co-founders and good friends, Steven Leszczynski and Mike Jacobs. Warren and his friends enjoyed the moment recalling their glory days as student broadcasters intent on playing the latest rock music only to realize that they had to diversify the music to fit a very diverse student body.
"The first three songs I played were, "Hear that Music" by Poco, "Listen to the Music" by The Doobie Brothers and "My Music" by Loggins and Messina," said Warren, who also serves on the college's Journalism Advisory Board.
Naturally, a snippet of each song was tuned to play as Warren mentioned the title.