Outgoing Program Director’s Open Letter to the WRKE Community

It is so hard to believe my four years at Roanoke College are almost over. It is even harder to believe my 2 years as Program Director have come to an end. I came to Roanoke College in a true last minute (last 24 hour) decision. It was supposed to be a temporary place for a semester to regroup and figure out where I wanted to go after my original choice was not what I expected. I never planned on staying. I joined WRKE 2 months into my freshmen year, and I can say with confidence that it was the best decision I have made thus far in my life. The only reason I stayed at Roanoke College is WRKE. 

It has been so amazing to watch and help facilitate the dramatic growth and changes that have happened since I became program director. From 13 students to 75. From 8 shows to 34. From no special events to an event every three weeks. Back to back student of the year awards. All the things happening at WRKE are unprecedented and I’m so proud of everything my team and I have done. Events no one thought were feasible, changes no one had bothered to make, and records that seemed impossible to break. But we did it all.  

WRKE is such an amazing place. A place for students to learn, to try, to fail, and to find their voice and their passions. This experience has changed my life path. It has taught me so much and it was truly an honor to lead this amazing group of students and work with the talented faculty and staff who encouraged me, tested me, trained me, and most of all, supported me.

There are so many people to whom I owe so much gratitude. The entire WRKE staff for their efforts, communication, and respect. The guests that came on my show and did stupid things on the air with me. Those who played Family Feud or allowed us to put them in the studio for 15 hours with no phones. Those who worked to help get events like the one I just mentioned through the process and legal precautions. Those who helped build our website, those who helped spread the word about events that we had upcoming, and those who just spread the word about WRKE. 

To Rick: Thank you for answering my countless phone calls, the absolute trove of knowledge, the willingness to drop anything to help us and your constant advice, support, and encouragement. It has been an honor sir. To David: You are one of the most genuine people I have ever met. Thank you for all of your time, help, advice, and lessons; both on the station and life. To Joe: Thank you for always keeping me on track and grounded and for supporting our events and the station as a whole. To Kait: Thank you for all the time spent with me combing through literally thousands of songs to make the music library so great. To Natalie: Thank you for keeping me sane. Being the calm voice in my ear during events, and for just being you. To Bec & Liv: Thank you for all your help, all the laughs, and all the photos. To Christa: Thank you for being my side kick for the past four years on and off the air. We will always be a dynamic duo and I would not be where I am without you. To Jessica: Thank you for always being willing to step in. To Dr. Warren: The radio dramas we put on were groundbreaking for the station and the college and I cannot thank you enough for all your time and talent. To Zach, Mary Rose, Brice, Casey, Rachel, Emily, Shamira, and everyone else who stepped up even without being paid: I can’t say think you enough. You are all invaluable to the WRKE team. Without you, we could not be nearly as great of a program.

There are so many people that deserve individual thanks but I want this letter to be readable. Just know how grateful I am for all you have done.

WRKE is the strongest it has ever been and I have utmost confidence that the strength and momentum will continue. You are all a great team and I am excited to see what Olivia and Zach and team will do.

To the WRKE Community: Thanks for helping. Thanks for playing. Thanks for listening. Thanks for everything.




Elijah Wilhelm, Outgoing Program Director


December 15th, 2018

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