Shy Former Student Credits WOUB with Radio Success

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Bruce Garraway worked at WOUB in the mid-1960s

ATHENS, OH – When Bruce Garraway reflects on his college experience in the mid-1960s, the time he spent at WOUB Public Media dominates his memory.

“WOUB was my second campus home especially when I became student music director and then program director,” said Garraway. “WOUB was a truly formative experience.”

Garraway grew up in Pittsburgh and his family always had the radio on.

“I’d go to bed listening to a transistor radio,” said Garraway. “I was just in love with radio, and I was also interested in TV. But, when I got to Athens, I went to WOUB and immediately my focus became radio. I was done for with radio. I loved working at the radio station.”

Bruce Garraway Ohio University Headshot
Garraway when he was a junior at Ohio University

Garraway said WOUB allowed him to come out of his shell and find his radio personality and voice.

“I was still an introverted and shy person, and radio was intimate and personal. I think that’s why I preferred working on radio.”

Garraway was supposed to graduate in 1967, but that didn’t happen. He was drafted into the U.S. Navy.

“While I was in the Navy, I kept working on the broadcasting skills I learned at WOUB. On the aircraft carrier, I oversaw the ship’s radio station. I was also a newscaster for the TV station,” said Garraway. “My specialty was journalism. My subspecialty was broadcasting. I got that designation all because of the experience I had from WOUB.”

Garraway eventually got transferred to Norfolk, Virginia, and immediately went looking for a part-time job in radio. He started working the 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. on-air shift at WNOR.

“After I got out of the Navy, the radio station wanted me to stay,” said Garraway. And he did for nearly 10 years. “I worked at WNOR as an FM music announcer, and  I became program director within months.”

WOUB paid staff photo 1966/67
WOUB paid staff photo 1966/67 (Garraway on far left)

One of the things he was most proud of during his radio career was helping to launch a new FM Top 40 station in Xenia, Ohio. He was successful in the radio business, even without a college degree. But, eventually, Garraway decided he needed to return to Ohio University and finish it.

“I came back to Athens, lived in The Plains and worked at WSEO/WAIS,” said Garraway. “I took my final classes and officially graduated in 1994.”

Garraway eventually got out of radio broadcasting. He worked for a large internet-based travel agency for 15 years and then at Operation Smile in donor relations. But his love for radio lives on, especially the radio station that was his home in college.

“WOUB gave me valuable experience, got me to loosen up more and made me a much better communicator. WOUB gave me a chance to be successful,” said Garraway. “I made all of my best friends in college at WOUB. It is not all about being in front of the microphone. It’s about forming close ties with people who have the same commitment you do in a really good environment that was really interested in you as a person. My time at WOUB and Ohio University, I just really can’t think of a better time.”