Discussion and reactions to our last issue. Plus, former WMCX staffers crank up the nostalgia!

Cheers to 90 Years

Kudos on the outstanding issue (spring/summer 2023)! The depth and breadth of the articles was most informative and provided much reading pleasure. Having worked at Monmouth for 30 years, and now looking on from the sidelines, I am accustomed to being impressed by the upward momentum and evolution of our beloved University, and this celebration of its 90th anniversary brought that all into focus. 

I loved the list of “90 Things to Love About Monmouth” and not just because Nos. 50 and 51 are close to my heart. You captured everything that makes Monmouth so special. I would add only one item: the time capsule that was created to celebrate the Millennium and is to be opened in 2033 at Monmouth’s 100th anniversary. It contains many items that will bring back history and memories. In the meantime, I look forward to more great issues of Monmouth magazine.

—Janet Fell, Administrator Emeritus

What a great piece in your Spring/Summer 2023 publication! So well written, documented, and illustrated! I enjoyed reading it and it brought a smile to my face. Kudos!

—Suzanne Knight ’80

Your “90 Things” list brought back many fond memories of my five years at Monmouth, but I do have a comment. You listed the Hawk Family at No. 52. At 57,800-plus strong, the alumni should be No. 1 on the list. Monmouth’s alumni are its best resource for new students. I talk up Monmouth every chance I get, touting the excellent education, small classes, dedicated faculty and staff, career opportunities, gorgeous campus and location, etc. I am forever indebted to Monmouth for giving me, a first-generation college student, the gift of higher education through a full Trustee Scholarship. In my opinion, Monmouth alumni always come first in spreading the word about how cool the school is!

—Catherine Folio, Ed.D., ’75, ’76M

If I have to be second place to anything, at least it’s the motherland.

—@ShadowtheHawk, via X

Hey There, Readers! We wanted to clear the air about our “90 Things” list. We weren’t ranking the items from least to most favorite. We’re head over heels for everything on the list. In fact, we had to cut a bunch of awesome items off our list to get it down to 90; otherwise, our list could have gone on forever!

Belated Best Wishes

Congratulations to all for their dedicated service to Monmouth (“Faculty and Staff Retirements,” spring/summer 2023), especially to Mary Ann Nagy and Bill Craig, both of whom I had the pleasure of appointing during my presidency in the 1980s.

—Samuel H. Magill, Ph.D., ’05HN, President Emeritus

A Splashing Success

You did a fantastic job with the Troubled Waters article (spring/summer 2023). It was easy to understand and visually appealing. 

—Kyle A. Seiverd ’11, ’21Ed.D

Transmitting Memories

Our request for past and present WMCX staffers to share stories about working at Monmouth’s student-run radio station found a receptive audience (Looking Back, spring/ summer 2023). Thanks to everyone who cranked up the nostalgia and shared a half-century’s worth of on-air adventures!

The photo in the last issues shows Brian Herman ’10 (in the Mets jersey) and me. We were production directors on the executive board and did a morning show together for a few years.

Two students in the WMCX studio
Brian Herman (left) and Nick Sgroi in the WMCX studios.

I met most of my college friends at WMCX (and HawkTV) and really hung out there all day. WMCX got me into music production and expanded my love for so many different kinds of music. Also, how could you not love seeing Donna (Dolphin) and Furg (Aaron Furgason ’92) every day? 

I made so many funny radio bumps for the station—many questionable for air, but always reviewed by Chris Cavallaro ’95 for a thumbs-up or down. One of them, “Golfing Babies,” ran for about 10 years. I really miss Professor Cavallaro.

My favorite show that I hosted was a midnight jazz show called “Jazz Etc.” Everyone used funny accents, and we’d play different background noises to pretend we were broadcasting from different places. I also fondly remember doing the 24-hour live music fests and co-productions with M-squared live and producing news pieces. 

WMCX is really a huge part of my life, and the nostalgia always floods back when I remember it all.

—Nick Sgroi ’10

I was one of the DJs back in 1995.  I remember physically splicing the cassette tapes and putting them in the player. We had to record songs, splice them, and make them blend together to sound good for the radio. I clearly remember one of my broadcasts where I had to talk about the Monmouth baseball team, and I said, “They came up swimming” instead of “swinging.” I laughed so hard! We used to always close with “X88.9 rockin’ your shoreline!” I miss those days! 

—Audrey LoPresti ’98

I was a DJ when the station was housed in the old Student Union Building. The only folks able to hear the broadcast were located in the dorms around the building. I also helped stock and restock the records—yes, we used records, which were spun on the station’s record player. If anything broke, the only person who could fix the equipment was a guy we called “EZ Ray.” I don’t remember his full name, but he kept the station running. Ron Subarsky ’72 was the program manager, and Cliff Frisch was in charge of the records themselves. To say that we had a great time running the station would be an understatement.

—Ellen Blut Spivack Meeds ’75

colorful illustration of three 60s students in a makeshift radio station
Illustration by Andy Ward

Congratulations to WMCX for 50 years of bringing the noise to the Jersey Shore! This may come as a surprise, but there was a time 10 years before the X when we spun vinyl on campus. Back in prehistory, a bunch of us had a little closet we called a studio—I think it was somewhere just off the Great Hall—and a way to send a signal over phone lines all around what was then Monmouth College. In early 1964, we got our hands on a Capitol Records release of a British band. Four faces, blue tint on the cover, mop-tops. You got it? We put “Meet the Beatles” on the turntable, snap-cued the first track, and played it—and played it, and played it again. We locked the door of the closet-studio and kept playing it. A lovely guy, Tom Murtha, was dean of students, and he came pounding on the door telling us to knock it off. I don’t remember how it ended. Probably we got hungry and had to come out for dinner. What I do remember is the rush, the pulse, the pure in-your-face excitement of playing rock on the radio. To the recent and current X-men and women, keep finding that rush. 

—Thomas Boyd ’65

I wasn’t directly involved with the radio station, but my first-year roommate, David Colangelo ’74, was the evening/nighttime DJ. I remember one night he returned from his show and excitedly told me that Renaissance and Billy Joel would be performing at Monmouth that spring. Of course we all went to the concert, which was held in the gymnasium. I don’t think there were more than a thousand people there, and we sat near the front row. After the show, some of the band members met down at the Brighton Bar in West Long Branch. How cool is that?

—Andrew Lewis ’75

I graduated in 1978 and witnessed the birth of WMCX. While I don’t have any pictures, I enjoyed the many experiences. One particularly memorable moment was when a group of us from the station covered the Democratic National Convention during Jimmy Carter’s election. We rented a hotel room, slept in the bathtub, and even managed to infiltrate the White House pressroom. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

During my time at WMCX, I also had the opportunity to interview Nancy Reagan and former tennis great John Newcombe, go on the air each week as a DJ, learn a lot, and meet some great people. I wouldn’t trade my time there for anything.

—Donna Camardo ’78

In the fall of 1984, I asked Professor (Rett) Rich if I could start broadcasting men’s basketball games for WMCX. In the past, there had not been any sports broadcast by the station. The first game we broadcast was an exhibition match against the Russian National Team at home. I was the play-by-play voice and Professor Rich was our color commentator. It was a tough assignment given the difficulty we had pronouncing the names of the Russian players, but we survived. That year, we broadcast every home game for the team. For the 1985–86 season, I was joined by Lisa Russo ’88 and Mike D’Onofrio, and we broadcast home and away games. What a great experience I had working at WMCX. I am forever grateful to Professor Rich for taking the chance and allowing me the opportunity to broadcast those games!

—Jerry Lomurno ’88

I was the station’s program director during the 2009–10 school year, and although I have countless stories I could share about my time at the X, the best one is that WMCXis the place where I met my husband, Trevor Marden ’11 (former music director and station manager). We met in November 2008 while working on a project for Advanced Radio in the editing suites and started dating the following spring after we were elected to the WMCX Executive Board. The rest, as they say, is history! We got engaged in September 2013 on the steps of the Great Hall and had our engagement photos taken in the WMCX studios. These days, we live with our two children in Old Bridge, New Jersey, and Trevor is the producer of the Jim Kerr Rock n’ Roll Morning Show on Q104.3 in New York. For Trevor and me, WMCX will always be a special part of our history, the place where it all began for us!

—Vanessa (Avansino) Marden ’10

a man in a radio station in the 1960s

Back before there was a “real” radio station, when Monmouth University was still Monmouth College, there was a low-power (i.e., FCC Part-15 compliant), on-campus-only station operating from the third floor of the old Student Union Building. This photo, from May 1967, shows Bob Siegel ’69 at the then recently upgraded control board. The old radio station still holds many fond memories for me, because it’s also where I met my late wife, Sharon Neild ’69. 

—Barclay Hills

I had the pleasure of being WMCX’s music director during my senior year at Monmouth. I was lucky to interview many bands including Dune Rats, Remember Jones, Wild Adriatic, and the Frights. Some of my favorite memories were the “24 Hour Music Fest” and being on the air during a show I hosted with my friends called “Dad’s Records.” We’d spend the time spinning vinyl and inviting guests to come on and share records of their own. That’s me on the far left with Luke McKenna and Sam Mader.

—Owen Daly-Forseth ’16