From the President
September marks the beginning of WXXI's 50th anniversary celebration. When I think about the men and women who had the foresight and the courage to fight the battles to bring public television to the Greater Rochester area, I think about their passion, commitment and vision. Channel 21 turned on its transmitter September 6, 1966 and there are still 165 people in the area who have been members of WXXI from day one! Our original members had a commitment to advancing education, to supporting quality arts and culture programming, and to helping our community grow.
In the last 50 years over 100,000 members have shared that passion, commitment and vision to public television. What's impossible to calculate are the number of people whose lives have been changed by the programming, outreach, and inspiration that WXXI has provided our community.
This month WXXI celebrates five decades of public television in Rochester. At the time, WXXI had its studios in the old East High School and it was only through the dedication of Harold Hacker and founding trustees that Channel 21 was able to come into existence. On that inaugural night of September 6, 1966 WXXI presented Julia Child showing viewers how chocolate mousse is made – and we commemorated that day in 1966 by airing the very same Julia Child program on September 6, 2016.
There’s a lot to celebrate at WXXI, from our very special anniversary, to our Open House (on September 24), to the unmatched programming we present every day. And it’s been you – you and the more than 100,000 other members – that has made it all possible. We thank you and I invite you to continue the journey with us over the next 50 years!