Messages of cheer and hope for eventual democracy and freedom are daily being broadcast over radio station WRUL to all the European nations by many prominent news commentators and a large group of Harvard professors and instructors.
Conceived in 1920 by Walter S. Lemmon in an attempt to start a world university of the air to spread knowledge and goodwill among all nations, it was not until 1935, at the time when Harlow Shapley, Payne Professor of Practical Astronomy and director of the Harvard Observatory, became a trustee of the then newly-formed World Wide Broadcasting Foundation, that transmission really began.
Recently, the station has taken on new importance, as it is one of the very few stations powerful enough to be heard easily in Europe. At present the station regularly sends programs to England, Yugoslavia, Holland, Belgium, Rumania, Germany, and Italy.
Every Tuesday at 7 o'clock the "Harvard University Series," on which many professors have spoken, is given. On May 20, the Harvard Glee Club will fill this place on the program with a broadcast from the Yard.
During the winter, William Y. Elliott, professor of Government, conducted a regular round table program. Elliott is also a member of the committee on program planning for the station.
Roger B. Merriman, Gurney Professor of History and Political Science, and Theodore Spencer, associate professor of English, conducted the "New England Namesaka Town" program in a broadcast from Cambridge, Massachusetts to Cambridge and Oxford, England on January 23.
"Looking Starwards," a series of talks and discussions on astronomy arranged by the Harvard Observatory, is presented every Saturday afternoon.
All the broadcasting over WRUL is non-commercial, and the money necessary to run its 50,000 watt transmitter and to do other jobs connected with the station's operation comes entirely from private donations and memberships in the listener's league.
Among the other prominent persons who regularly broadcast over the station are Raymond Gram Swing, Fulton Lewis, Jr., and Hendrik Wilhelm Van Loon.