50 Years Of Wyoming Public Radio


A half century is such a long time! Fifty years ago, students and staff in the Student Union gathered together to sign an application to become, KUWR, Wyoming’s “Educational FM Station”. Shortly thereafter Congress passed the Public Broadcasting Act creating National Public Radio, of which Wyoming Public Radio would become a member. 

Alan Bowker KUWR-FM 1969.
Credit Wyoming Public Media

This was the roaring 60’s, time of innovation, stereophonic audio technology and man’s first trip to the moon. Then came the 1970s, when Wyoming Public Radio launched each broadcast day with the song of a meadowlark, Wyoming’s State Bird, the 1980s the early broadcasts of Representative Dick Cheney and Senator Alan Simpson, as well as the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The 1990s witnessed national media descending upon Wyoming following the murder of Matthew Shepard. The new millennium introduced mobile radio technology and radio signals through cell phones. What do you remember best from Wyoming Public Radio airwaves?

Join fellow listeners, community leaders, city and county officials, Wyoming celebrities, and all friends of WPR and provide YOUR 50th Anniversary testimonial, recorded or written, reflecting the benefits of Wyoming Public Radio to you. We welcome your support!

If you have a memory to share, use the hashtag #WPRat50 on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. 

Mail in your testimonial:

Wyoming Public Radio
Dept. 3984
1000 E. University Ave
Laramie, WY 82071

Schedule a time to come into our studios: (307)-766-4240

Email photos and stories to us: ilovewpr@gmail.com

Phone number to record your testimonial: (307)-223-1795

Please leave your name, where you're from, and tell us your testimonial. In addition, email us at ilovewpr@gmail.com and send us a photo of yourself to identify your testimonial when we put it on the website.

A-Z Testimonials 

A selection of testimonials from Wyoming listeners:

Glance at snapshots of Wyoming Public Radio's early years on our interactive 50th timeline. 

Ways to Connect

Tim Sullivan

Jul 9, 2018
Albany County, Wyoming

Lifelong Laramie resident and long time Wyoming Public Radio listener Tim Sullivan speaks on his connection to the value public radio holds. From touring the towers when KUWR began when he was in high school to listening to new programs like Wyoming Sounds, Tim enjoys the programming and enjoys having Wyoming Public Radio as a friend.

Bob Austin

Alpine resident, Bob Austin, recalls the early years of Wyoming Public Radio (KUWR) where he served as Program Manager and hosted both a classical music and a jazz program with reel to reel tape machines and turntables. (1967-68)

Ron McIntosh - Laramie, WY

Apr 5, 2018

Ron McIntosh, a Laramie artist, recalls his music show, Night Waves, that he hosted on Wyoming Public Radio in 1985.

Walt Gasson - Laramie, WY

Mar 7, 2018
Walt Gasson

Walt Gasson is 4th generation Wyomingite, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a conservationist. He supports news where truth takes a back seat to profit and bias. He believes that Wyoming special and its public radio station gets that.

Timothy Link - Laramie, WY

Mar 7, 2018

Timothy moved to Wyoming 22 years ago, and he donates because not only listens, but relies on WPR for so many sources of entertainment, news, weather, and music. He invested in WPR with the time was right, and now maintains his sustaining membership to keep this community institution alive.

Dale Strickland - Cheyenne, WY

Mar 7, 2018
Dale Strickland

Dale has been listening to WPR since 1972 when he came to graduates school at the University of Wyoming. He listened for free for a few years, but realized that the things he treasured most about public radio were only available due to donor funding. He recently joined the Leadership Circle because he realized that it was more affordable than he thought and understands how it maintains the quality of Wyoming Public Radio and the detailed news it provides. 

Sarah Gadd - Cheyenne, WY

Mar 7, 2018

Sarah has began listening to WPR in 1994, and it's been her primary source of news and its context since then. She finds time to listen all throughout the day, and she often finds herself sitting in the driveway waiting for a story to end. She supports WPR at the Leadership Circle level because since she listens so frequently, it's a no-brainer!

Nathan Maier - Laramie, WY

Mar 7, 2018
Nathan Maier

Nathan Maier is a New Jersey transplant that loves how public radio gets him thinking about issues he may not normally be exposed to, and it makes his world a little bit bigger than just Laramie. He believes public radio has a community feel and keeps people connects and aware of what is going around the state. 

Lois Mottonen - Cheyenne, WY

Mar 7, 2018

Lois is a Wyoming native who find WPR to be an important part of her life with its supply of culture, music, and Wyoming news. She donates at the Leadership Circle level because she wants to keep public radio strong, no matter what happens in Washington, DC.

Mark Bedwell - Summerdale, AL

Mar 7, 2018
Mary Grace Bedwell

Mark is the father of one of the WPR staff members, and began listening in 2014 when she started working here. Though he lives in a small town where he can listen to Florida and Alabama public radio signals, he still chooses to stream WPR at work because it provides that largest variety of local programming.

Marion Yoder - Cheyenne, WY

Mar 7, 2018

Marion remembers the days before WPR had a statewide network and says that this statewide networks knits the community together. She believes that the diverse listeners and stories keeps people open-minded and balanced. 

Kathleen Bertoncelj - Laramie, WY

Mar 7, 2018

Kathleen is a volunteer and donor with Wyoming Public Radio who thinks that you should support what you believe in. She feels like WPR is a like having a comfortable friend come visit you. 

Mary Ellen Honsaker - Dubois, WY

Feb 27, 2018

Mary Ellen loves the fair and balanced news that Wyoming Public Radio provides her. She loves contributing on Pet Wednesday in honor of her Border Collie Franklin, but has listed Wyoming Public Radio as a beneficiary to her investment with her new financial planning to prolong her giving and support WPR into the future. Mary Ellen says that Wyoming Public Radio keeps our minds and souls alive, and encourages other listeners to think long term, as well as donate with her and Franklin on the next Pet Wednesday. 

Sarah Brown Matthews - Laramie, WY

Feb 27, 2018

Sarah Brown Matthews loves the opportunity to belong to a radio station that cares about its members and its content, and she says that she hasn't found that in many other states. She loves listening to Wyoming Sounds 103.5 FM in Laramie!

Tyler Matheney - Cheyenne, WY

Feb 27, 2018
Tyler Matheney

Wyoming State Highway Patrolman Tyler Matheney talks about how Wyoming Public Radio has become a companion on his 8 to 10 hour shifts in the patrol car. He finds the programming to be honest and intellectually stimulating, so he supports WPR with a monthly sustaining membership.

Jeremy Minor - Jackson, WY

Feb 22, 2018
Jeremy Minor

In his past 17 years in Wyoming, he has come to love all aspects of Wyoming Public Radio. On his early morning work days, he loves being exposed to world news, Morning Edition, and Morning Music. On his late night shifts, he loves setting the tone for his shift with Classical Wyoming. He and his family support Wyoming Public Radio because its too important of a resource to lose.

Paula McNearny and RJ Bragg - Granite Canyon, WY

Feb 22, 2018

RJ and Paula talk about being able to take Wyoming Public Radio with them wherever they go, even Antarctica! They enjoy listening to a top-notch station and volunteering at the station. 

Sherril Bailey - Rawlins, WY

Feb 20, 2018
Sherril Bailey

Sherril is a retired teacher from Michigan who moved to Rawlins in 2000. She feels that her experience of moving across the country has allowed her to gain a greater appreciation for Wyoming Public Radio's eclectic mix of news and programming because she's heard other stations first hand. Sherril says she was encouraged by her father to set aside money for entertainment, and for her, that money becomes her Wyoming Public Radio sustaining donation.  

Mike Ellerd - Bozeman, MT

Feb 19, 2018
Mike Ellerd

Mike Ellerd from Bozeman, MT talks about why he loves and supports Wyoming Public Radio, even though he and his wife don't live in the state. Mike says Wyoming Public Radio hosts and personalities are a family for him, and the unbiased news and great music makes it the best public radio station he has come across.

Emily Shaw - Reston, VA

Feb 19, 2018

Emily Shaw is a student at the University of Wyoming from Reston, VA. She talks about her favorite programs, why she loves volunteering and contributing to Wyoming Public Radio, and how listening on her smart speaker starts her day off right.

Nicholas Taylor - Savannah, GA

Feb 7, 2018

Nick is a huge fan of Jazz Wyoming and loves being able to connect to his Georgia Roots while earning a  masters in passive seismology from the University of Wyoming Department of Geology and Geophysics. 

Terry Roark - Laramie, WY

Feb 5, 2018

Terry Roark, President Emeritus of the University of Wyoming, talks about the importance of keeping Wyoming connected to national and state updates in the times of financial uncertainty.

Rosalind Schliske - Cheyenne, WY

Feb 5, 2018
Rosalind Schliske

Leadership Circle donor Roz Schliske uses Wyoming Public Radio's eclectic programming to fill the void that television used to. She says she loves that her brain is engaged and entertained. 

Rosalie Nelson - Casper, WY

Feb 5, 2018

Rosalie has listened to WPR since moving to Wyoming 1988 and contributes because, honestly, she doesn't want to listen to anything else.

Rollin Abernathy - Laramie, WY

Feb 5, 2018

Retired UW professor Rollin Abernathy speaks on the importance of Wyoming Public Radio to the daily life of he and his wife Carolyn and why they chose to donate to the Leadership Circle.

Nancy Ayers - Jackson, WY

Feb 5, 2018

Nancy talks about why she and her husband became members of the Leadership Circle and the importance of non-partisan news.

Michelle McCormack - Wilson, WY

Feb 5, 2018

Michelle talks about her love for local music programming and sends a shout out from herself, her husband Shannon, and their dog Stella.

Larry Wolfe - Cheyenne, WY

Feb 5, 2018

Leadership Circle Member Larry Wolfe talks about the interconnectedness provided by Wyoming Public Radio's ability to "knit" the state together.

Katie Hogarty - Sheridan, WY

Feb 5, 2018

Katie Hogarty talks about how important it is to stay connected and get involved with trustworthy news in our state's communities. 

Jon Wiebe

Jon Wiebe talks about the role public radio played in his childhood and the family bonding it inspires.