Updated Tue, Jan 22, 2013 2:46 pm
Dr. Vernon R. Alden, former Ohio University president, visited WOUB Friday, Jan. 18 to celebrate 50 years of WOUB-TV. Dr. Alden flipped the switch in January 1963, which brought the local television station to the region.
Dr. Alden, in 1967, was instrumental in getting WOUB FM radio’s power increased from a 10-watts local station to its present 50,000 watts regional network, covering 55 counties in Ohio, West Virginia and eastern Kentucky.
During Dr. Alden's term as president of Ohio University from 1962 - 1969, he spearheaded major changes to the Athens campus, including a doubling of enrollment and faculty and a 750-acre expansion of the campus.
During his presidency Alden Library, the OU airport and the Convocation Center were constructed. He was also instrumental in the construction of the Radio-Television building, where WOUB has been located since 1970.
He also advocated and helped bring to reality the rerouting of the Hocking River in 1969 and the construction of the Appalachian Highway Network.
He was a strong proponent of a US Rt. 33 by-pass around Nelsonville. He told students today that he would like to return to the region when the newly constructed by-pass opens – to celebrate its completion some 50 years after Dr. Alden proposed the idea.
Alden met with students in the newsroom and talked with them about the changes that occurred while he was president, visited the new HD control room, visited Master Control, the NewsWatch set and did an interview with Director Tom Hodson and Director of Program Services Joan Butcher that will air on an upcoming Conversations from Studio B.
Dr. Alden will turn 90 years old in April and was merely 38 years old when he assumed the Ohio University presidency in Jan 1962.