WVKC is a student-operated radio station of Knox College. The call letters were originally chosen to stand for "The Voice of Knox College", although that catch phrase is not in active use. WVKC was known as "Radio-Free Galesburg" until as recently as 2005, when students decided on "No Sale Radio," again emphasizing that WVKC is a non-commercial, not-for-profit organization. In 2006, students opted to change the name to simply "The Voice," a slogan used by the station in the 1970s and 1980s.
According to station lore, WVKC's official mascot has been known as Zippy the "flaming bat." Though appearances are uncommon -- usually occurring in the station's library -- there are many bats living on the fourth floor of Knox's George Davis Hall, the same space that currently houses WVKC.
Unlike many other college radio stations, any student is welcome to become a DJ, with no experience necessary, and are free to play music of any genre. Members from the community have also contributed to the on-air schedule, contributing rock, jazz, gospel, and latin formats.
The station also features live web broadcasting for remote listeners, available at the station's website
Originally founded as an experimental radio station, WVKC has been operating continuously for more than 50 years, making it one of the oldest college radio stations.
- ca. 1925 - Knox College briefly operated an experimental radio station under a different call sign.
- 1950s - WKC (WVKC's direct predecessor) operated as a carrier current radio station, broadcasting to selected locations on campus.
- 1961 - WVKC (a fourth letter having been added by the call sign) was granted by the FCC for a Low power FM station on 90.5 MHz. This was a Class D station at 10 watts ERP.
- 1979 - Due to planned renovation and transfer to a developer of the station's location since 1961 (basement of Whiting Hall on W. Tompkins Street), the college granted the station space on the fourth floor of George Davis Hall (then vacant, and the original location of Knox's radio studio in the 1920s).
- 1980 - The station acquired a refurbished Collins transmitter and moved into the fourth floor of George Davis Hall. Along with new studios, the station's power was increased to 1000 watts ERP.
- 1984 - Began broadcasting in stereo using a prototype Harris exciter.
- 1990 - In cooperation with the FCC and to accommodate an increase in ERP by Augustana College's WVIK at 90.3 MHz in the Quad Cities area, as well as reducing adjacent channel interference with WVIK, WVKC changed its FM frequency to 90.7 MHz.
- 1997 - In addition to already reporting playlists to CMJ (College Music Journal) in New York City, WVKC also begins reporting spins to the Loud Rock/Metal sections of both FMQB (Friday Morning Quarterback) in Philadelphia and HITS in Los Angeles.
- 1998 - WVKC rebrands as Radio Free Galesburg.
- 1999 - Student and metal/hardcore DJ Chris Ternes begins booking shows at Knox College. The band Thursday and the band One King Down play in the basement in Seymour on separate occasions.
- 2000 - On October 20th, WVKC begins simulcasting over the web. WVKC also purchased a large 5000-watt solid-state transmitter (this did not change WVKC's ERP), which was manhandled up to the fourth floor of GDH with a handcart by the general manager, two broadcast engineers, and a student passerby.
- 2001 - The Apples in Stereo visit WVKC. They sign the air studio wall and a deal is made in which their bassist purchases several boxes of LPs that would otherwise be discarded. Also that year: WVKC appears online as WVKC.org.
- 2002 - General manager Toby Greenwalt sends a letter to trade publication CMJ (College Music Journal) expressing his dismay at their perceived shift toward a more commercial focus. He received a snide response from Editor-in-Chief Mike Boyle, who tells him to "grow up" and "join the real world." He promptly emails the exchange to every general manager and radio promoter he knows, prompting an angry phone call from Boyle, telling him he had "burned [his] bridge" at CMJ.
- 2002 - Incoming general manager Joe Mohan organizes a summer broadcasting schedule using only 4-5 DJs. A giant Andrew WK poster featuring the artist's bloodied face went missing under Mohan's watch, which is considered his greatest failing as a GM.
- 2003 - Someone gets drunk and pees on all the equipment.
- 1925- 2008+ - Someone makes racial slurs on the radio.
- 2007 - Knox college agrees to partner with a local public radio station to begin offering NPR news in the future.
- 13th, January, 2012 - An unedited song plays on FCC regulation time, and contains the words f**k and b*******q.
- 2013 - WVKC is HD-2 now, which means you can't hear it on the radio anymore unless you have an HD radio, but the contract isn't forever and online streaming is way easier and it sounds better. Also WVKC still rules really hard.
- 2013 - WVKC has a new website, www.thewvkc.com
- 1982-83 - Derek Gilbert ('84)
- 1983-84 - Derek Gilbert ('84) (resigned, Fall '84), Carla Moradi ('85) (resigned, Winter '84), Mark Compton ('85)
- 1984-85 - Mark Compton ('85)
- 1985-86 - Dave Stejkowski ('87)
- 1986-87 - Dave Stejkowski ('87) and Bob Smith ('87)
- 1987-88 - Mitch Grayson ('89) and Brian McCartney ('89)
- 1988-89 - Steve Bitter ('90)
- 1989-90 - Steve Bitter ('90) and Jim Rodd ('90)
- 1997-98 - Brian Gawor ('98)
- 1998-99 - Mike Sweeney ('99)
- 1999-00 - Ben Markese ('00)
- 2000-01 - Eric Pietras ('01)
- 2001-02 - Toby Greenwalt ('02)
- 2002-03 - Joe Mohan ('03)
- 2003-04 - Ryan Fitzgerald ('04)
- 2004-05 - Dan Morgridge ('05)
- 2005-06 - Erik Byng ('06) and Matt Holland ('06)
- 2006-07 - Erik Byng ('06) and Mark Imielski
- 2007-08 - Somebody, and I'm annoyed I can't remember
- 2008-09 - Bryan Lund ('09) and Ryan Cash ('09)
- 2009-10 - Elliot McKinely ('10) and Timothy Lovett ('11)
- 2010-11 - Miya Pleines ('12) and Timothy Lovett ('11)
- 2011-12 - Miya Pleines ('12) and Magdalene Linck ('12)
- 2012-13 - Hali Engelman ('13) and Andrew Stocker ('13)
- 2013-14 - Samantha Smith ('15) and Arthur Pascale ('14)
- ?-05 - Nathalie Haurberg ('05)
- 2009 - Mike Wipper
- 2008 - Patrick Dooley
- 2007 - Paul Albertine
- 2002 - Nick Grover
- 2001 - Chris Ternes & Matt Anderson
- 2000 - Ben Markese
- 1999 - Ben Markese
- 1998 - Ben Markese
- 1997 - Ben Markese