The centerpiece for my visit is the annual celebration of the founding of WJPZ FM, Z89 -- my college radio station. Typically, college radio means play whatever you want. But Z89 is not your typical college radio station. First of all, we had a strict Top-40 playlist. We also had news, sports and public affairs shows. There was a professional atmosphere -- which is why we alumni consider it "the greatest media classroom on any college campus in the country." I certainly learned a great deal about broadcasting there. But, more than that, Z89 was my home. And my co-workers there were my family.
I spent as much time at the radio station as I did in class. Probably more. I worked and learned alongside some very talented people. Some of my fellow JPZers are now big wigs at Sirius/XM, anchors at ESPN, one is multi-media journalist for a business journal, another is a Washington, DC correspondent for several TV stations. There's also a producer on a top-rated sitcom, one who owns his own strategic communications company, and a pretty well-known network correspondent. And the list goes on and on....
Then, we were college students -- trying to figure it all out. Now, we're adults -- still trying to figure it all out. And though most alumni don't get a chance to come back -- busy with jobs, families, etc. -- it's always great to see those that do. We all seem to pick up where we left off, whenever we're together. Sure, we've all changed over the years (I like to think we're improved versions of the people we were) -- but we never forget where we came from.
After a weekend of reminiscing, networking (a current student called me, Mr. Velardi - YIKES!) and
Today's Title: One of the first songs I ever played on Z89