Hillsdale in D.C. ‘s radio studio recently expanded to allow students on WHIP and D.C. faculty to host new shows, enabling Hillsdalians in D.C. to advance Hillsdale’s mission beyond its 400 acres in Michigan.
“Hillsdale in D.C. serves to advance the mission of Hillsdale College through various mediums,” Matthew Spalding, vice president of Washington operations, said. “Our audience appreciates radio and podcasts, and the Hillsdale in D.C. radio station allows us the capability of offering that to our students, faculty, and allies.”
Spalding said the radio studio will continue to operate as an outlet for students, faculty, and allies to spread the ideas of Hillsdale College.
The Boyle Studio was dedicated at the Kirby Center in November 2015. The studio is a remote broadcast studio for visiting radio hosts and personalities, including nationally recognized hosts, podcasters, and newsmakers, Spalding said. The studio includes amenities and accommodations for radio hosts and guests. It is furnished through the gift of the Vince Benedetto Bold Gold Media Group and the Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation.
Allison Schuster ’21, research assistant at the Kirby Center, manages the Hillsdale in D.C. radio studio.
“The station provides the opportunity for our own faculty to conduct interviews or record material, as well as extending the studio’s use to organizations whose missions are friendly to our own,” Schuster said. “It also just gives us a space for students to explore the radio world and get hands-on experience using what Hillsdale has taught them during their WHIP semester or time in the graduate program.”
Schuster’s job includes coordinating the use of the studio for outside groups, producing shows, and managing student shows for WHIP and graduate students.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, The Federalist Radio Hour and other shows were regularly recorded at the D.C. station. Spalding decided to welcome back shows in the fall of 2021, so Schuster has spent the past six months developing the station.
The Federalist’s culture editor, Emily Jashinsky, records The Federalist Radio Hour in the studio, Schuster said. Additionally, while on WHIP last semester, senior Elena Nabarowski recorded her own show, “Five Minute Myths,” the first student show recorded at the D.C. station in a few years.
“I also look forward to more undergraduate students using the studio as this semester gets underway,” Schuster said.
Scot Bertram, manager of the Radio Free Hillsdale, helps Schuster fix technical issues and develop the studio’s equipment and capability, as well as providing general radio counseling.
“Hillsdale students who are involved here at WRFH are encouraged to continue working on their show or feature while on WHIP,” Bertram said. “The Boyle Studio features the same equipment that is used here in Michigan, so the transition should be seamless.”
The studio has hosted The Vince Coglianese Show, which Schuster said provided an opportunity to raise awareness of Hillsdale’s mission among D.C. listeners. Vince Coglianese hosted Spalding; Matthew Mehan, director of academic programs for Hillsdale in D.C.; and Mollie Hemingway, senior journalism fellow at Hillsdale, on the show to discuss their areas of expertise.
Mehan said he has used the station to record podcasts about the liberal arts, talk with Bertram on his show, Radio Free Hillsdale Hour, and record an audio version of his children’s book “Mr. Mehan’s Mildly Amusing Mythical Mammals.”
“I’ve invited guests in to record their podcasts and have discussions with me,” Mehan said. “I’ve gotten to meet a number of interesting people who are there recording as our guests.”
Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn was also a guest at the Hillsdale in D.C station, participating in Hugh Hewitt’s annual Tele-Townhall on Reviving American Classical K‑12 Education last month. Schuster said the show enabled Arnn to share the college’s mission concerning classical education.
“We have access to so many people who are actively making waves in national politics here in the capitol,” she said, “and the studio provides us a space to speak with them and connect them with our students and scholars in a way that’s more convenient and accessible than the main campus’ radio station for some.”
In the future, Schuster will continue to expand the station’s programming. She said she will speak with WHIP students and friends of the college to find additional hosts. Schuster said anyone on the main campus interested in interviewing professors or students at the D.C. campus can do so, as well.
“Both campuses are working for the same purpose of pursuing truth and defending liberty, and it would be wonderful to have more connection between the two,” Schuster said.
Though not often in D.C., Bertram said he will continue to advise the D.C. station.
“It’s of great value to the station to have these contributions from our nation’s capital and to allow students to continue to grow in their work while in D.C.,” Bertram said.