Georgetown University Forum Recordings

Georgetown students operating a radio station in the 1950s

photo from the Hoya Archives (May 13, 1954)

The Georgetown University Forum is a long-running public affairs radio show, which had its origins as an on-campus radio show at Georgetown University. The show’s original purpose, according to a 1954 document in the University Archives, was to allow groups of students to meet “weekly to discuss various aspects of public affairs, usually with an invited guest expert on the particular field.” Shortly after the Forum’s establishment, local radio stations began rebroadcasting its programs, followed by the Liberty Broadcasting System (then the second biggest radio network in the U.S.) in 1950. As a result, given its wider audience, the composition of Forum contributors changed. Panels of academics, federal officials, ambassadors, politicians, journalists, and other experts discussed issues of national, international, or regional import, with students less commonly featured. The audio recordings of Forum broadcasts are each approximately thirty minutes in length and the collection spans from 1947 to 1972, when the Forum broadcasts were suspended for a time because Georgetown University felt, given competition from similar programming, the financial outlay was too great for the audience being reached.