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The Auburn University Amateur Radio Club, K4RY, hosted a special event on A-Day in commemoration of the university’s 160th anniversary. The club set up in front of Samford Hall and sent out the call sign, “W4E,” which is a nod to Auburn’s battle cry, “War Eagle." The FCC only issues short, three-character call signs for radio operators who are commemorating a special event. Ham radio operators from around the world received the W4E call sign via Morse code, voice or digital signal, and they recognized “W4E” as a special event. Those who responded received a message from W4E stating 2016 marks the 160th anniversary of Auburn University.

The club was able to make 290 contacts, in 39 states, five Canadian provinces, and 31 countries, including Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Finland, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Australia and more.

Each of the ham radio operators who contacted the Auburn University student group may receive a QSL card, which is a written confirmation of communication during the special event. Internationally, ham radio operators frequently make it a hobby to contact special event stations and collect QSL cards, and the card sent for W4E will feature a photo of Samford Hall.

The event was organized by Stew Schneller, professor of chemistry and biochemistry.