Staying on air

Members of the Case Amateur Radio Club plan to ask old hams for help raising new antennas as they crowdfund for the future


On the roof of Glennan, nine stories above Case Quad, a trio of hi-frequency antennas cast spidery shadows on a glass-and-cinderblock bunker known as the ham shack. Inside the rooftop clubhouse, members of the Case Amateur Radio Club talk to ham radio operators around the world.

To keep the conversation flowing, the club needs to refurbish two of its antenna towers. A capital project looms for a student group with a modest budget.

“It’s going to be a lot” said Kristina Collins, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Collins, the club’s historian and former president, has been poring through its old logbooks, building a database of alumni ham enthusiasts. Working with the Case Alumni Association, she hopes to launch a targeted giving campaign.

Following the lead of student groups like the Humanitarian Design Corps, club members will reach out to potential supporters online—and on air—and ask them for help.

It’s a new approach for a venerable club, one founded at Case Institute of Technology in the 1940s. But amateur radio has seen a resurgence of late and alumni might like to know that student interest is strong, Collins said. Plus, crowdfunding seems to offer more than a revenue stream.

“We want to have a relationship with our alumni whether or not they donate,” she said. “We do have a facility to maintain. So if they donate, great. But we’re communication hobbyists—we do like to talk!”

Reach Kristina at or KD8OXT

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