Jennifer Upshaw

Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Amber Smallwood

Degree Award Date

Spring 2008


Oral History, WGMB, Bridgewater College, Alumni, Radio Station, archival research, self-determination theory


Broadcast and Video Studies | Civic and Community Engagement | Social Psychology


This study looks at over 30 years of WGMB Bridgewater College Radio, from its inception in 1956 to 1992. It was found that existing college radio research focused on programming and increasing listenership, and not on case studies and histories of college radio. However, case studies were found on community radio and advocacy groups. Methodology included archival research of the college's newspaper and yearbook as well as qualitative interviews with seven of the station's alumni from 1956 to 1992. Themes emergent from the interviews reflected the components of the self-determination theory, primarily because participants' station involvement related closely to the individuals' commitment and motivation. It was found that the radio station had a relaxed atmosphere despite ongoing issues such as technical problems and budget constraints. WGMB served the college community by fulfilling informational needs as well as the station members' professional and relational needs. Future research possibilities include studying particular aspects of the station and comparing this station to other college or community radio stations.