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Rev. Roswell Williams


Rev. Roswell C. Williams understood the importance of television as a mass medium and as an aid to education. He joined the faculty of Creighton University in Omaha in 1945 and became an advocate of radio and television as teaching tools.

Before commercial television came to Omaha, Williams in 1946 welcomed production employees of WOW to set up experimental television equipment in the Creighton auditorium. The training and testing allowed Williams to pioneer the use of closed circuit television to teach students in the medical and health sciences in multiple sections of large enrollment classes. Besides showing medical operations from St. Joseph’s hospital, the system once carried a closed-circuit broadcast of Creighton vs. Wichita basketball. This was two years before Omaha’s commercial television stations signed on.

A radio station also signed on at Creighton during this time. Williams established KOCU in 1948, a campus-based radio operation to prepare students for broadcasting careers. It was a localized carrier-current system allowing students to air newscasts, talent shows, and live drama. KOCU remained in operation for over forty years.

Williams was the chair of the journalism department from 1948 to 1956 and also served as Director of Communication Arts until he retired in 1973.

Father Williams died in 1976. 

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