WMUK station head featured on NPR's Friday StoryCorps segment

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News
Photo of NPR's StoryCorps booth.

StoryCorps to feature WMU's Gordon Bolar Friday, Nov. 23.

KALAMAZOO—Gordon Bolar, general manager of Western Michigan University's public radio station, WMUK, is slated to be the interview subject on National Public Radio's StoryCorps segment Friday, Nov. 23.

The segment, which will be heard nationally at 8:20 a.m. on "Morning Edition," can be heard locally on WMUK at 102.1 FM. It features a conversation between Bolar and StoryCorps founder David Isay. In the segment, the pair share a story aimed at noting StoryCorps' National Day of Listening and its soon-to-be-launched Military Voices Initiative.

Bolar's interview was recorded by phone Nov. 20. In it, he talks about his son, Matthew Bolar, who was killed in action in Iraq in 2007. In addition to being aired nationally, the interview will be archived at the Library of Congress as part of the Military Voices Initiative. Bolar also is slated to be in Washington, D.C., as Isay's guest for the Monday, Dec. 3, formal launch of that project at the Library of Congress.

StoryCorps is a creation of Sound Portraits Productions, an independent production company based in New York City. Modeled after the Works Progress Administration of the 1930s, the national project aims to instruct and inspire people to record each other's stories in sound.

Members of the oral history project were last in Kalamazoo in 2007, when WMUK hosted a month-long visit to allow the team to capture the stories of West Michigan listeners. During the weeks it was here, residents from across West Michigan flocked to Bronson Park to tell their stories in the StoryCorps studio set up there.

Bolar, who got to know Isay during the StoryCorps visit to Kalamazoo, learned of his son's death just as the StoryCorps booth was being moved to its next location. Bolar and Isay have stayed in touch over the years, and Isay asked Bolar to record his remembrances of his son for this week's program.