February 26, 2021 : By Ryan Klinker - Office of Communications & Public Engagement
Liberty University’s Christian music radio station 90.9 The Light (WQLU), located on campus and staffed by students, officially marked their move to a new home in Marie F. Green Hall with a small ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday afternoon and celebrated the opportunities that the professional-level facility will give to any and all who use it.
The station was formerly located across campus in DeMoss Hall, but this new location has been renovated to accommodate the station’s needs and outfitted with some new equipment to allow the station to continue its operations and open doors to new functions that may come soon. It also brings them closer to the classrooms for the Digital Media and Journalism students who are its primary users. In addition to being the broadcasting location for 90.9’s programming that also includes news and sports, the space has audio suites that can be used by students who require a better recording atmosphere.
Department chair John Rost explained that this station will continue to prepare students for industry careers by giving them real experience in producing content while still enrolled at Liberty.
“Whenever we’re looking at the tools that we’re using here and how we’re using them, we are always looking at what the industry standard is and we try to buy what the professionals are using,” Rost said. “We want to give our students the skills, knowledge, and workflow that they need so that they can step right into a professional environment, and the best way to do that is to make (our station) a professional environment.”
“Training Champions for Christ requires an investment for us to be able to have our students be prepared for the workforce,” added Dr. Scott Hayes, dean of the School of Communication & the Arts. “We already know that the spiritual character of our students is going to put them in good (positions) with their employers, and having superior equipment with this facility helps them be at the top of their game.”
The station is also going to be made available for other departments within Liberty and even outside vendors or media entities to use as a production studio in the foreseeable future. The radio drama “The Encounter,” made in association with Liberty’s theatre arts department, is already utilizing the space. Steven Stilwell, general manager of 90.9, said that he’s excited for the multiple uses.
“I’d love it if people came in and asked what they can do here with us, and the station is now in a central location with a lot of the other departments like broadcasting, cinematic arts, theatre arts, and others nearby,” Stilwell said. “I want this place to be a service to those who want to use it and collaborate with them however we can. This place is going to be a great opportunity for our students and departments, and I’m really excited about it.”