Skip to main content

WSOU records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SHU-0037

Scope and Contents

The WSOU records include sound recordings of past radio broadcasts and some documentation of station activities. Sound recordings include some Italian programs, symphonic music, promotional spots, sports play-by-play broadcasts, and coverage of elections in Newark, among others. Other materials include a letter from John L. Sullivan of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) to Frank McKenna on Relic Rock Review. Materials are on recorded sound discs (record albums on vinyl) and reel-to-reel audiotapes.


  • 1948-1986

Conditions Governing Access

This collection includes audio-visual materials. Access copies of audiotapes, audio cassette tapes, video cassette tapes, film reels, or other audio-visual materials may need to be ordered prior to on-site research. Please contact us to inquire about access to audio-visual materials.
This collection is not yet processed. Materials may be available to researchers with staff assistance at the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center. Advance appointments are required for the use of archival materials.

Conditions Governing Use

All materials available in this collection (unless otherwise noted) are the property of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and Seton Hall University, which reserves the right to limit access to or reproduction of these materials. Reproduction of materials or content is subject to United States copyright restrictions and may be subject to federal or state privacy regulations. Permission to publish exact reproductions must be obtained from the Director of the Archives and Special Collections Center.

Biographical / Historical

WSOU (an acronym for "South Orange University") is a non-commerical, student-run college radio station granted its Federal Communications Commission operating license in 1947, and began broadcasting on 89.5 FM 14 April 1948. It is the first ever college-operated FM station in New Jersey and the lone Catholic school to have its own broadcast facility statewide at this time. Seton Hall president Monsignor James Kelly asked Monsignor Thomas J. Gillhooly to create the station infrastructure, which he did in three months; he also became the station's first faculty director. Msgr. Gillhooly was assited by Tom Parnham, who helped construct the station and was its first chief engineer. The Department of Communication Arts founded in 1948 was designed to work in partnership with the radio station to provide an academic component to the programming content. WSOU was housed in the basement of the recreation center until 1998, when it moved to new dedicated facilities attached to the Richie Regan Recreation Center.

WSOU is student run in that Seton Hall University students manage the day-to-day operations of the station, including on-air hosting (DJ), production, promotion, newscasting, sportscasting, programming, sales and marketing, and engineering. Staff members of WSOU must be affiliated with Seton Hall (as students, faculty, or staff); WSOU also airs community programs on Saturdays and Sundays to serve under-represented portions of the community. An exhibit to commemorate the 60th anniversary of WSOU was on display in the Walsh Library Gallery during the spring of 2009 and utilized many artifacts from both the station and Special Collections to mark the milestone and recognize past accomplishments.

Currently, the core format of WSOU is "Modern Active Rock" (sometimes referred to as heavy metal) music; the station also airs a number of Catholic talk radio, music, and special events, and screens all content to ensure compatibility with Seton Hall's Catholic mission. WSOU broadcasts locally at 2,400 watts on its traditional radio signal, but also streams live through its website to a global audience.

Sources:, accessed 13 December 2013.

Heyboer, Kelly. "Time has tested the metal of Seton Hall's WSOU," Star-Ledger, 18 November 2011.

Moore, Joseph A. "Hall to Have Radio Station," Setonian, 22:10, 1, 5 March 1948.

WSOU 89.5 FM 50th Anniversary Seton Hall University, 14 March 1998.

WSOU 35th Anniversary "A Night to Remember," 16 April 1983.


4 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



WSOU is a student-run college radio station founded in 1948; it began broadcasting on 89.5 FM 14 April 1948. The WSOU records include sound recordings of past radio broadcasts and some documentation of station activities.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials were transferred to the Archives and Special Collections Center by the Rev. James Smith of WSOU in the 1970s and 1980s. Accession numbers 1988.0018.SHU and 1988.0021.SHU.

Processing Information

This collection is not yet processed. Finding aid and basic collection description created in 2013 by Patrick Tobin, Alan Delozier and Tracy M. Jackson as part of the Overhaul Project collection survey.
WSOU records, 1948-1986
Alan Delozier and Tracy M. Jackson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the The Monsignor Field Archives & Special Collection Center Repository

Archives, Walsh Library
400 South Orange Ave
South Orange NJ 07079 US