Mucci Studio Plaque

A Chat With Union Director David Mucci

In 2004, KJHK found its current home in The KU Memorial Union all thanks to Union Director David Mucci. Now, on the eve of Mucci’s retirement, KJHK has decided to name it’s main studio after the union legend. To commemorate the 12th anniversary of KJHK’s first broadcast from the union and Mucci’s retirement in June, we sat down to ask him our most pressing questions.

What’s your official title?

Director of the KU Memorial Union

How long have you been at the union?

23 years

Are you tired?

Tired of the pandemic. But time for new leadership to shape the program and serve students and KU.

What was the most annoying thing you’ve ever had to deal with?

Convention might say KJHK but working with the station and its students has been a pleasure.

What got you into this business?

As an undergraduate at the University of Kentucky, I served both as building manager and program board chair and became enamored with union work and campus life.

What’s your favorite room in the union?

The old elevator motor room atop the Kansas Union in the “onion dome”—the name plates of corporation board members are mounted there on their departure. Or the bookstore basement tunnel pipe chase where years of student worker graffiti is preserved.

Why did you want to take KJHK under your wing and add it to the union?

KJHK seemed a logical connection to union mission—serving the campus community through student driven programs and services.

What’s your favorite thing about KJHK?

KJHK defies the normal framing as a radio station—it really has proven a creative platform for student expression that has transcended broadcasting to a host of imaginative endeavors from ‘zines to productions to mini-movies.

David Mucci holds the plaque of the newly christened “Mucci Studio”

What annoys you the most about KJHK?

That we are unable to afford Arbitron radio broadcast surveys to demonstrate the broad listenership KJHK has beyond its streaming audiences.

What’s the weirdest interaction you’ve had with KJHK?

Initially, student leadership was a bit leery of being placed with the Union—gaining credibility and understanding was a weird, mutual choreography.

If you could have any restaurant in the union what would it be?

The Columbia Steak House of Lexington Kentucky—the gathering place for the late night crowd of local hipsters where you could buy an affordable, massive burger to fortify against the dark anxieties of the night.  

If you could give your time at the union a scent, what would it be?

The Pacific Ocean spray to reflect the energy, traffic, storms, dawns and sunsets that life in the union entails.

What’s the last thing you want to do before your reign ends?

Fully express my appreciation to all those students, faculty, staff, alums and friends that make campus life at KU so vibrant and unique.

What song is playing in your biopic as you leave the union one last time?

Tempted by Squeeze, leaving and knowing “there’s no other”.

Kade Schoenfeldt presenting during Mucci’s retirement party