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WBOR receives a generous alumni donation and plans to upgrade studio

March 31, 2023

Michael Gordon
BROADCASTING BUCKS: WBOR's station in the basement of Dudley Coe. The station recently received a five-figure donation from an alumnus. The station will put the money towards updating its wiring and equipment.

Bowdoin alumnus Dr. Bob Lochte ’72 recently made a donation of roughly $13,000 to WBOR, which the station will use to update its equipment and heighten its production value. Lochte himself was involved with WBOR during his time at Bowdoin, and his passion for radio has extended far past his graduation. After beginning his broadcast career at a small radio station in his hometown of Nashville, Tenn., Lochte continued working in radio and television for 30 years and has become an ardent supporter of nonprofit radio.

“I believe that there is a need not only in [the Brunswick] area, but in the United States in general for vigorous nonprofit radio,” Lochte said. “The nonprofit stations have got to survive.”

Lochte doesn’t just support nonprofit radio through strong words though, as he and his wife donate to several stations in addition to WBOR.

Lochte did not add any restrictions to the money but rather wants the station to put the funding towards whatever it may need. He hopes that these updates will allow WBOR to flourish for many years to come and maintain its position as an integral part of the campus community.

“I would hope that students consider the radio station to be such an asset to the campus community [that] they’d like to keep it there, and one way to do that is [to] encourage people to volunteer [for WBOR]. Exactly what I did, and what the kids are doing now,” Lochte said.

There has been some hesitation from administration about renovating WBOR because of future plans to demolish Dudley Coe, where the station is housed. However, Mason Daugherty ’25, a member of WBOR’s management, thinks right now is the optimal time to invest in the station.

“The campus master plan has made it seem that there’s a substantial amount of time left [before Dudley Coe is torn down]. Making some of these changes would not only make sense, but some of the upgrades … will make moving the location [of the station] easier when it does happen,” Daugherty said. “Our current wiring system is a mess. It works, but upgrading it now is going to make the breakdown and setup time at a new location a tenth of what it might previously be.”

Director of Student Activities Nate Hintze emphasized the impact that alumni donations and networks have on Bowdoin and the student body.

“I think alumni giving is essential to the operation of the College. When they give back to a certain part of campus that they had an affinity for, it’s a testament to some of the clubs and the impact that they can have on students. Not only when they’re here, but after they leave campus,” Hintze said.

Along with the new upgrades which will hopefully be implemented this summer, Daugherty hopes to improve other aspects of the station. This includes a new website and reviving “The Zine,” an art and music publication previously published by the station.

“[We want to] empower more students, musicians and artists on campus to come in and use a platform that has historically been underutilized at the school,” Daughtery said. “This semester … will be a whirlwind. We’re going to have a lot of exciting events and it’s a good time to be involved. It’s a good time to be in radio.”


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