WTUL Marathon broadcasts for 51st year

Sophie Brams, Contributing Reporter

student dj sits in front of microphone to host a section of the marathon in the wtul office
DJ Alec Wild, aka DJ Tropics, sets up to host a section of the Marathon. (Haley Soares)

The year was 1965 and WTUL — Tulane’s student-run radio station — was fighting for its budget. In response to the finance committee announcing it would cut more than 50% of the station’s budget, protests broke out. The Saturday before the student council meeting, DJ Ralph Whalen, aka “The Wolfman,” took to the air where he stayed for the next 19.5 hours. Other DJs followed him and continued the Marathon all the way through the budget meeting. In the end, WTUL’s 135-hour effort paid off, earning the station its full budget. 

Thus, the WTUL Marathon was born. Now, the marathon is part of fundraising efforts for the station each year, culminating in a 72-hour DJ marathon. 

This week, WTUL celebrated their “not-quite 51st” annual marathon fundraiser. Last year’s fundraiser was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s edition featured three sets of DJs who each stayed on the air for 24-hours straight.

Money raised during the marathon helps offset the significant expenses that come along with running a radio station, including repairing equipment, digitizing the WTUL collection and continuing community outreach projects.

Marathon Director Sydney Clayton said people should consider supporting WTUL because of its connection to both students and the greater New Orleans community.

“We are such a tight knit community and one of the few clubs at Tulane that has a real presence outside the Tulane bubble,” Clayton said. 

She added that WTUL is a station that everyone in the community can enjoy and feel connected to.

“Even if you are not a DJ you can feel connected by tuning in and enjoying the tunes,” Clayton said. “WTUL is a special place and we want to make sure it can continue to thrive.”

Clayton said she has been touched by the generosity of those who have already donated. So far, the Marathon has raised over $17,000.

“All I want to share is the immense gratitude for the station and the community around it,” Clayton said. “We love all of you and thank you for your support.”

You can donate here