By Joe Racc
January 29th 2019 will forever be remembered as a historic day for WFTU Radio as on this date the once ‘WFTU Radio Studios’ became ‘The Gene Free Studios’ in honor of the late Gene ‘Michaels’ Free.
The dedication was held here at Five Towns College right outside the new radio station that he created with many of Gene’s close family, friends, co-workers and students all coming out to celebrate this well deserved honor.
The evening began with remarks from Five Towns College President, Dr. David Cohen sharing stories about Free and awarding Mass Communication Student, Joseph Raccuia with the 1st ever Gene Free Scholarship For Outstanding Work In Broadcasting.
As the evening went on, WFTU Radio Manager, Matt O’Leary and WFTU Radio Assistant Manager, Mike Scudiero took to the microphone to share some of their own personal memories of their friend and mentor as they both worked side by side with him at WFTU Radio. FTC Professor, Holli Haerr spoke about her time working with Gene at his other job at 1010 WINS and remembered stories of him.
After everyone from some Gene’s former students to his work colleagues spoke, Gene’s daughter, Samantha Free performed a special song. With not a dry eye in the house, the time had come for the dedication as the plaque was unveiled and history was made with ‘The Gene Free Studios’ becoming official.
As the plaque now hangs in the station, it’s a good reminder to everyone passing by but especially to the students who do radio shows at WFTU, just how important he was and the shoulder we all stand on.
Welcome To ‘The Gene Free Studios’! Come on in and ask about Gene because we would love to tell you about him.