October 27, 2020 — The American Association of State Colleges and Universities
(AASCU) will later today present Al Roker,
weather and feature anchor on NBC News’ TODAY, with the association’s 2020
Distinguished Alumnus Award. Roker will accept the award during AASCU’s
2020 VIRTUAL Annual Meeting.
holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication studies from the State
University of New York at Oswego (SUNY Oswego) and an honorary doctorate from
the State University of New York.
Oswego is so proud that Al Roker has been selected for AASCU’s 2020
Distinguished Alumnus Award. A 1976 graduate of Oswego State, Al has been a
loyal ambassador for Oswego throughout his career, generous in sharing his time;
love for the college; and, most importantly, offering his genuine and resolute
support of our students in so many ways,” said SUNY Oswego President Deborah F.
Stanley. “Al recently returned to the college classroom as a professor to
impart his talent and experiences with the next generation of broadcasters. His
unique background in broadcasting as a weather anchor, journalist, and renowned
television personality provides SUNY Oswego students with the ability to
explore today’s complex broadcasting and communication environment.”
than four decades, AASCU’s Distinguished Alumnus Award has recognized
individuals who have achieved acclaim in their fields and who have made significant
contributions to the public, intellectual, or cultural life of the nation.
Through this award, AASCU directs national attention to the value of society’s
investment in America’s state colleges and universities. Past honorees include
President Lyndon Johnson, who was the first to receive the award in 1972.
addition to shaping modern weathercasting and his numerous accomplishments as a
journalist, Al Roker has been a trailblazer in diversifying the field of
journalism. Furthermore, he has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to higher
education and preparing future communicators to succeed in an ever-evolving
media landscape,” said AASCU President Mildred García. “We are thrilled to
present him with our Distinguished Alumnus Award.”
the years, Roker has reported live for TODAY from some of history’s
worst storms and natural disasters, including Hurricane Wilma, Hurricane Isaac,
Superstorm Sandy, and the earthquake in Haiti. Among the many highlights of his
career as an interviewer, Roker conducted an exclusive interview with Peanuts
creator Charles Shultz shortly before his death from colon cancer. Additional
interview highlights include Willie Nelson, Burt Reynolds, James Earl Jones,
and B. Smith.
1985, Roker has co-hosted the annual Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting. He also
co-hosts the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Rose Bowl Parade.
For 10 years, from 2001–2010 and in 2017, Roker’s “Lend a Hand Today”
initiative took him across the country and raised millions to help small
charities work toward improving conditions in their communities.
been named Best Weatherman twice by New York Magazine. He is a recipient
of three Daytime Emmy Awards as part of TODAY’s recognition as the best
morning newscast (2007, 2009, 2010) and the American Meteorological Society’s
prestigious Seal of Approval. Roker is also a bestselling author with 12
acclaimed books to his credit.
Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based
higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and
systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a
historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to
research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and
cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise.