Did you know that our school has its very own student-run radio station? While now operating in Martha Miller with advanced equipment and under the name WTHS-FM 89.9 (“We’re The Hope Station”), it was not always like this.
The station started back in 1956 through fellow Hope students, Richard Brockmeier and Jack Hellriegel, who transmitted a radio signal from their dorm room in Kollen Hall, and called the station WTAS: “We’re The Arkie Station,” honoring Brockmeier and Hellriegel’s brotherhood rooted in the College’s Arcadian Fraternity. The Anchor even helped spread the word of new organization at the time, reporting on the group’s updated location (the Kollen Hall basement) and name, “The Anchor Station.” Eventually, The Anchor Station’s network and audience grew even more as it began simulcasting at the local radio service of 103.3 FM during the year of 1981.
Today, the station’s name is WTHS-FM 89.9, which stands for “We’re The Hope Station,” and it is located in Martha Miller. With decades of growth, the station continues to look forward toward the future, and it aims to provide students with the opportunity to explore their interests in radio communication. For example, WTHS General Manager, Charles Keegan ‘24, states that the station allows students the opportunity “…to have their own show where they can play music or have a live talk show. These shows broadcast out to the general Holland area as well as streaming services. [WTHS-FM 89.9] even [has] people from Cambodia that listen!”
Though there are certain guidelines, there is a wide range of music and content that people can listen to on the station. The majority of the shows consist of a DJ that curates a playlist for the station. There are also plenty of diverse talk shows to tune into, enabling something captivating for almost any listener!
In addition, each member on the team plays an important role and also hosts a show of their own. As General Manager, Charles Keegan organizes meetings with the rest of the board, plans events with other organizations, publicizes the organization alongside the media director, and takes on “a lot of problem-solving and behind the scenes work.” His show is called, “The Lounge,” and it airs on Wednesdays from 6 to 7pm EST, featuring the music that Charles enjoys.
WTHS Program Director, Mackenzie Kellogg (‘24), hires and trains the new DJs. Her show is called “Downtempo,” airing on Fridays at 7pm EST, and it features chill, folksy, disco and even some gothic country music. Lexi Siefke (’24) serves as the Web and Media Director of the organization. She runs the social media pages, updates the website, and organizes publicity campaigns. Alongside her friend, Lexi co-hosts a show titled “Super Hydrolic Instantaneous Talk Show” that airs on Thursdays at 6pm EST. The duo covers broad topics from TV shows to conspiracy theories and everything in between!
Music Directors Marissa Cole (’24), Ingrid Oslund (’25), and Sarah Schubert (’26) all work together on selecting the blend of tunes, while staying updated on the latest music trends and releases each week. From the new music, they choose songs that fall within the guidelines and vary in genre. Some of the genres they pick often are alternative, R&B, folksy, instrumental or whatever fits the vibe of the day. Once they choose the specific music, they are in charge of adding 10-12 songs onto the station that are new, similar to the “discover weekly” and “release radar” playlists that Spotify makes. These new songs are played during the “New Music Show” that airs at 10am EST on Sundays. Ingrid and Sarah also have their own show called “A Pinch of Us,” which plays at 12pm EST on Sundays. Additionally, Marissa co-hosts a game show with Lauren Tocco (’24) called, “The Theme is Themes,” on Thursdays at 7pm EST, where listeners play along with them!
Be sure to follow the station at @wths899 on Instagram and X, and also follow WTHS Holland on both Spotify and Facebook. If you are interested in joining this team, visit the WTHS website: https://wths.hope.edu/.