Emma Stoltzfus — Staff Write

KDCR is housed in a small building tucked behind the north side of Dordt’s Rec Center, but its voice is heard for 80 to 90 miles around

Starting its 50th year of operation, KDCR 88.5 FM radio station serves by entertaining and informing listeners with contemporary Christian music, weather announcements, Dordt athletics play-by-play, local sermons and more

This April 9-13, KDCR will be hosting a “Share-a-Thon” to celebrate 50 years of operation (since Aug 16. 1968). The event will include special programs hosting live studio guests—including former station employees—to share the impact KDCR has had on their lives

In addition to celebrating its 50th anniversary, KDCR is welcoming a new staff member. Rich Lodewyk from Fargo, N.D., will be serving as the Dordt Media Director beginning this semester. He previously held a position teaching in the communication department at North Dakota State University

“I’m extremely excited to be the Dordt Media Director,” Lodewyk said. “There are so many exciting things going on on this campus from a broadcasting standpoint.

As he starts his first semester at Dordt, Lodewyk has what he refers to as three areas of responsibility: KDCR General Manager, Dordt Media Director and teaching a CORE 110 Communication Foundations class

Lodewyk is the only member of KDCR’s team that is not a former or current Dordt student. Dordt students play an active part in the day-to-day running of the station

KDCR has an average of eight work-studies and three interns at a given time, with positions available during both the school year and summer

Dordt senior Clarissa Kraayenbrink—a work-study with the radio station—has been a part of KDCR since 2016

“You never know what’s going to happen when you come in for your shift,” Kraayenbrink said as she worked on a computer editing a recorded piece to be broadcasted later. “We had to go live on air once for a tornado warning; it was Christian [Zylstra]’s first day.

Kraayenbrink encourages students to join the KDCR team as there are three or four seniors graduating this May.

The Program Director of KDCR, Jim Bolkema, started his involvement at KDCR as a work-study. A few years after graduation he returned to the station and has been working there for 34 years.

Bolkema is on-call 24/7 and has an alert on his phone set to go off if the station goes silent for longer than sixty seconds

This is not uncommon as an alert went off around midnight on Feb. 7 due to a sound file failing to play correctly. Bolkema says he has called in everywhere from beaches in California to restaurants in New York

“I have the equivalent of three full-time jobs,” Bolkema said, as he listed his various responsibilities.

The radio station has kept up with the march of technology through the years. The current software that creates “logs” of some-300 songs played throughout the day are a far cry from the manually-switched LP records of years past

Interviews, weather announcements and the like are all recorded earlier and broadcasted at a later time. This allows the program to flow seamlessly and gives room to correct any errors

People around the world can listen to the current broadcast or catch up with missed pieces through KDCR’s website at http://www.kdcr885.com

A new segment started this February which focuses on the fine arts. So far, the art features have included a guest organist, a cast member from the upcoming Dordt production Drawer Boy and the college’s Director of Keyboard studies—among others

“We’re the home of Defender athletics,” Lodewyk said. “All games, whether they are home or away, are available on KDCR radio.

Other regular segments include a “Where are they now?” program which features Dordt alumni and guest speakers made up of politicians, professors and members of the communi

KDCR is a not-for-profit community-focused organization overseen by Dordt College that depends on donations from the community and its listeners.

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