WUPX celebrates 50 years


Mandy Mosely/NW ON AIR—Niikah Hatfield, the Radio X station manager, prepares to blast some tunes on the air waves in the WUPX radio shack in McClintock with the Theater Department.

Mandy Mosely

WUPX Radio X, NMU’s student run radio station, will celebrate 50 years in existence, and more notably 50 years of evolving, thriving and remaining relevant in the age of increasingly sophisticated technology.

The entire studio exhales unique reminders of decades past, along with modern touches of the present.

The ceiling is a motley of artistic expression, each tile graffitied by Radio X DJs, stickers placed with intention, a room full of CDs and quotes on a white board to make visitors laugh and remind student volunteers why they’re here.

From its origins in 1970 as WBKX to broadcasting an AM outlet, to becoming an FM outlet and boasting a new name, WUPX Radio X has changed over the years.

In the three years that Niikah Hatfield has been a radio DJ, and more recently since her induction as Station Manager one year ago this December, she has seen the changes first hand.

“We’ve brought in a ton more local music,” Hatfield said.
This is something she plans to do plenty more of, she said.

From its inception, the radio station has maintained success through the hard work and dedication of NMU students.

The student organization is on the air twelve months out of the year, 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Their primary goal is to provide both NMU students and community members with quality entertainment and useful information.

Continual operations through 50 years is a huge feat, and Radio X doesn’t plan to rest on their laurels. Instead, they’re continuing to explore new ideas, and they appreciate every student’s involvement.

“Anyone who wants to be a DJ can be a DJ,” Hatifield said, “I always push that because it’s the students who make it. We’re going to have a local music hour on air soon.”

This year, Radio X has surprise events in store for the NMU community.
“We have a couple event ideas under wraps,” Hatifeld said, though she was bound by secrecy and unable to elaborate.

The information she was willing to share involved a plan to continue celebrating the 50th anniversary with another music festival this spring. It will be similar to “The Revival” which Radio X hosted in partnership with local businesses on Aug. 24 at Presque Isle.

As for the future of Radio X, Hatfield looks forward to giving the radio a beloved voice again in Marquette.

She recognizes that the music scene is big in this area and hopes to capitalize on that fact.

“I’m really excited to hopefully, leave the station kind of with a new breath in it,” Hatfield said. Hatfield will graduate this May.

Recently, radio has decreased in popularity.

“It has kind of fallen off the radar. A lot as social media and technology has advanced. I’m just excited to bring back the bit of radio that has something there to offer,” Hatfield said.

She is also intent on paying homage to the 50 years of DJs who have contributed to the station’s success over its many years on air.

In a world where social trends dictate the shelf life of most products, technology and organizations, Radio X remains fortified in their craft.