Marion Watson

From the Archivist: Occasional posts related to University history

Marion English (Watson) was a member of the WLB Radio Guild while a student in the 1940s (with Del Dusenbury).
Marion English (Watson) was a member of the WLB Radio Guild while a student in the 1940s (with Del Dusenbury).

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Marion Watson, a long-time station manager for the University of Minnesota’s radio station – KUOM. 

Marion English Watson graduated magna cum laude with a BA from the University of Minnesota’s College of Science, Literature, and the Arts in 1944. She attended graduate school and completed a master’s degree in speech pathology in 1950 and worked in the Speech and Hearing Clinic at the university. 

In 1955, Watson developed an English language course for visiting faculty from Seoul National University and served as the project director. 

KUOM LogoWatson began working at KUOM in 1969 and served as station manager until 1988. Her efforts at the station focused on civil rights and environmental issues, women’s equality, and providing a platform for Native American communities through radio, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting funded program Indian News

Examples of her programs and interviews include: 

Brochure advertising Science Lives: Women and Minorities in the Sciences, encouraging schools to order the cassette package, undated.
Brochure advertising Science Lives: Women and Minorities in the Sciences, encouraging schools to order the cassette package, undated.

After transitioning to the station’s program developer in 1988, Marion Watson became executive producer for “Science Lives: Women and Minorities in the Sciences” a KUOM program distributed nationally through NPR and produced in cassette form for use in schools and libraries. 

In the 1990s, Watson was instrumental in seeing KUOM’s administrative and programming records plus over 11,000 audio recordings transferred to the University Archives. Her efforts were the impetus for our work on describing and digitizing the KUOM collections and audio recordings and for the Libraries’ produced podcast U of M Radio on Your Historic Dial

To learn more about the University of Minnesota Archives, please visit www.lib.umn.edu/uarchives.

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