About


W5YD is one of the oldest, continuously active amateur radio clubs in the United States. It has its origins as the amateur radio station 5YD permit issued to Mississippi A&M by the U.S. Department of Commerce in January 1920. The “W” was later added to MSU’s club call sign when the federal government brought all American stations into compliance with international agreements on radio station identification. W5YD operates from its station located in the Simrall Electrical & Computer Engineering Building on the Campus of Mississippi State University in the W.P. Gearhiser Ham Radio Club Room named after the late Gearhiser, who served as the faculty sponsor of the club for more than 35 years. Mr. Gearhiser was an amateur radio operator for over 75 years first getting licensed his freshman year at MSU. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and mechanical engineering from Mississippi State in 1931 and 1932, respectively. As faculty sponsor he provided valuable leadership to amateur radio operators on campus. As the university’s superintendent of utilities for 15 years starting in 1960, he was also known as “the keeper of the chimes” for the Carillon Tower at the Chapel of Memories, programming the music that resounded over the campus daily. A duty he performed for years after his retirement in 1975.