© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
1922-2022 A yearlong celebration marking WKAR's 100th anniversary of service to the mid-Michigan and Spartan communities

WKAR Century of Service Float Wins MSU Homecoming Award

The award-winning teams at WKAR have another honor to hang on their wall. The WKAR entry in the 2022 MSU Homecoming parade took the award for best MSU Departmental Float.

Float award winners were announced during the Wisconsin-MSU Homecoming football game on Saturday, Oct. 15.

“Spartans Bring the Magic” was the theme of MSU Homecoming in 2022. The award-winning float was led by a banner declaring “Bringing the Magic for 100 Years” as part of WKAR’s yearlong celebration of a century of service.

The float featured historical images of WKAR through the years, a microphone from the early days of radio, and a bold, contemporary rendition of the WKAR broadcast call letters with light display.

“The MSU Homecoming Parade is a wonderful opportunity for our on-air and behind-the-scenes teams to connect in-person with the listeners, viewers and supporters that we serve,” said Shawn Turner, WKAR interim general manager and director of broadcasting. “This year is special as we celebrate 100 years of providing that service. Winning this award as we celebrate is an extra special honor.”

Greeting parade watchers from the float were Turner; Arjun Thakkar, politics reporter; Sophia Saliby, All Things Considered host; Jamie Paisley, director of radio programming; Dave Mann, technical services director; and Jen Preslar, events coordinator.

Jet Propulsion, from the PBS KIDS show, Ready Jet Go!, also rode along.

Walking with the float were Curious Crew host Dr. Rob Stephenson and cast members from the WKAR original TV show; and WKAR staff and their families. Russell Felder, assistant director of annual giving, and Julie Sochay, senior director of content and communication, were at the head of the group carrying the lead banner.

“Fans of all ages cheered as the WKAR float and entourage went past,” said Sochay. “It is so heartwarming to feel the outpouring of love from our listeners and viewers.”

The tow vehicle and trailer for the award-winning float were generously provided by LaFontaine Ford Lansing and Instructors from the Wilson Talent Center Automotive Technology Program.

The MSU Homecoming parade took place Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, in downtown East Lansing, featuring the Spartan Marching Band, Michigan high school marching bands, MSU student and community groups, university officials, Sparty and much more. The annual parade is sponsored by the MSU Alumni Office and the MSU Homecoming committee.

Video of the parade and a set of photos are available at


WKAR Century of Service is supported by
MSU Federal Credit Union
Consumers Energy

Journalism at this station is made possible by donors who value local reporting. Donate today to keep stories like this one coming. It is thanks to your generosity that we can keep this content free and accessible for everyone. Thanks!