10/27/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/27/2020 09:56
WASHINGTON, 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.
Roker 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.
'SUNY 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.'
For more 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.
'In 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.'
Throughout 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.
Since 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.
Roker has 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.
The American 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.