Monday, March 28, 2011

Capitol Radio Engineering Institute

I've written about a few other radio schools in the past. I think this one is unique in that it still exists. But they no longer focus on broadcasting. Actually they don't teach broadcasting at all. Wisely they've abandoned that part of the curriculum.  Their current course catalog sports one communications course: Twenty-first Century Mass Media" that seems to include some nominal radio content. The next closest class is on wireless devices. Inexplicably, The 2005 Princeton Review Complete Book of Colleges lists them as having a radio station. If they do it's a part 15 station. I have never seen a record of their existence. Regardless, it appears that they like the rest of the nation, have moved on. (if you can confirm or deny the existence of the station please comment)

The Capitol Radio Engineering Institute, changed its name to the Capitol Institute of Technology in 1964, and in 1987 to Capitol College They began as a correspondence school like many others advertising in the back of Popular Mechanics. Unlike the others, in 1932 they opened a residence hall and hands-on classes. By 1966 they were offering genuine bachelors degrees. In 1969 they moved to Kensington, Maryland then in 1980 moved to their current residence in Laurel, Maryland on a property that used to be the Beltsville Speedway.  [you can hear a WPGC-AM ad for it here] In 1990 they began offering a Masters program.

It was founded originally in 1927 by Eugene H. Rietzke, a Navy radio operator and his wife Lillie Lou Rietzke. Eugene was born in 1897 and he served in WWI eventually becoming Chief Instructor at the Bellevue Naval Radio Material School. For His educational courses he wrote text books.  He was awarded the Marconi Memorial Gold Medal by the Veteran Wireless Operators Association in 1955 and won the DeForest Audion Gold Medal Award  in 1977. He even was awarded the James H. McGraw award in 1962.  On a related note, McGraw Hill publishing acquired a 20% ownership share of the Capitol Radio Engineering Inst. in 1967. In 1960 CREI began awarding the Rietzke Award for the Airman showing the most promise.(I don't think they use it anymore)  He died in 1983, the school lives on.