WRVS 89.9 FM program manager Clay Mercer is shown in the campus public radio station studio at Elizabeth City State University. WRVS hopes to raise $15,000 from SuccessFest, its biannual membership drive and week-long radiothon that starts Sunday.

WRVS 89.9 FM, Elizabeth City State University’s public radio station, hopes to raise $15,000 from SuccessFest, its biannual membership drive and weeklong radiothon that starts Sunday.

According to ECSU’s director of radio and television services Melba Smith, WRVS’ membership drive and radiothon will continue through April 2, but fundraising efforts will continue through June 30.

A number of events are planned for the upcoming SuccessFest.

“Our SuccessFest 2021 Spring Membership Drive will feature a Divine Nine Greek challenge, exclusive music mixes hosted by former students and volunteers who are now professional DJs, and a special presentation of Facebook video testimonials from current and former student staff members,” Smith said.

All funding raised during SuccessFest will help support student training, community outreach, quality programming, and general station operations, Smith said.

WRVS is celebrating its 35th year on the air this year. The radio station’s programming includes NPR and original programs such as “Conversations with the Chancellor,” “River City Reviews,” “Morning Joy Career Center Corner,” and “High School Game of the Week.”

WRVS also trains high school and college students interested in pursuing careers in radio broadcasting. According to ECSU, the station has been a training ground for many ECSU students who now work either as broadcasters or media professionals.

At the time of its launch, in 1986, WRVS operated as 90.7 FM, a 10,000 watt, 18-hour station. The station was created during the tenure of former ECSU Chancellor Jimmy Jenkins.

In 1990, the station received several upgrades, including a new transmitter allowing an effective radiated power of 41 kW as well as a new frequency of 89.9 MHz.

On July 3, 1996, the station went dark for weeks due to water and smoke damage to equipment caused by an electrical fire that occurred upstairs in Williams Hall. The station signed back on in October and later went to a jazz-based format as “Jazzy 89-Nine.”

In 2003, the station reverted to its original Urban Adult Contemporary format and moved from an 18-hour format to broadcasting 24 hours a day.

On Sept. 25, 2008, WRVS-FM, 89.9 completed its digital conversion and on Sept. 28, 2008, launched its digital broadcasting stream using iBiquity Digital Corp.’s HD Radio TM technology.

Last August, WRVS announced the launch of Jazzy 89.9, a new radio station featuring jazz music through its HD2 signal. The station extended its jazz offerings on WRVS-FM to give listeners a 24/7 platform. A complete schedule of featured shows is available at www.ecsu.edu/wrvs.

To donate to SuccessFest, text WRVS to 41444 or call 252-335-3985.