SUNY Oswego’s 10th Media Summit “Rose” to new heights

SUNY Oswego’s 10th Annual Media Summit was a day no one will soon forget. With icons like Al Roker ’76 and Charlie Rose on stage, the crowds flocked to the event.

Media Summit Founder Louis A. Borrelli Jr. center Stage with panelists (from left) Ken Auletta ’63, Al Roker ’76, Charlie Rose, Dennis Thatcher, and Connie Schultz

By Shinnell Burroughs Students, alumni,  and panelists woke up with Al Roker, sat down with Steve Levy, enjoyed the star panelist discussion, and later watched SUNY Oswego’s President Deborah F. Stanley and Steve Levy ’87 host “The Tomorrow Show.”

Midnight, Oct. 15th – 16th 24-Hour Challenge began toward a goal of 750 gifts to be matched by ESPN anchor and Oswego alumnus Steve Levy
5:30 a.m. Oct. 16
Emmy Award winner and Oswego alumnus, Al Roker, broadcasted his “Wake Up with Al” show live from SUNY Oswego in the Marano Campus Center.
7 to 9 a.m. Oct. 16 Al Roker broadcasted his segments during NBC’s “Today” show live from SUNY Oswego. 
 11:10 a.m. Oct. 16 Pulitzer Prize winner Connie Schultz, Mission Broadcasting president Dennis Thatcher and ESPN anchor and Oswego alumnus Steve Levy spoke informally and answered questions about the media.
 2:30 p.m. Oct. 16 Doors opened at 1:30 p.m. for the 10th Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit which began with an honorary degree presentation to Charlie Rose of the PBS “Charlie Rose” show, who then joined Al Roker, Pulitzer-winner Connie Schultz, Dennis Thatcher of Mission Broadcasting and esteemed author and media critic Ken Auletta ’63 in a discussion of the media today. The program ended with a Presidential Medal presentation to summit founder Louis A. Borrelli Jr. ’77.
7:30 p.m. Oct. 16 ESPN anchor Steve Levy joined college President Deborah F. Stanley for a live webcast of “The Tomorrow Show,” the official kickoff of the $40 million campaign for SUNY Oswego. The show launched the public phase of “With Passion and Purpose.”
11:59 p.m. Oct. 16  24-Hour Challenge ended

“Wake Up with Al” and the “Today Show”  Students began lining up as early as 1 a.m. Thursday in hopes to be seen on “Wake Up with Al.” [su_pullquote align=”right”]”Been standing for 4 hours and finally got the chance to shake Al Roker’s hand.” – SUNY Oswego Student Nick Costanzo[/su_pullquote] Students who came later craned their necks to get a glimpse of Al Roker as he hosted his show. There were signs all throughout the crowd thanking Al for coming, saying “Hi Mom”, and even requesting employment. Students, faculty and Oswego community members alike showed their excitement for Roker’s presence with cheers for the cameras. Despite the occasional push and shove to get a better view, the crowd was surprisingly well behaved, which may have been due to University Police securing the event as well as they possibly could.

By Brandon Roth, Reporter for CNY Central
By Brandon Roth, Reporter for CNY Central

A little after “Wake Up with Al” was completely over, some students started dispersing to get to their classes or get some sleep. Other students saw the opportunity to move up and attempt to catch a glimpse and appear live on the “Today Show.”

Roker finished up taping around 10 a.m. but some students stayed till the very end. In between being on air and doing interviews, Roker took time to sign autographs and take “selfies” with his fans. Many lucky “selfie” takers posted their photos to social media, using the hashtag, #ISpyRoker.  By the end of that morning, Roker said his farewell and thanked the students; setting off to his next activity of the day. It was a long morning, but students did not seem to mind being up all night for a chance at five seconds of fame and meeting Al Roker.


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Let’s Talk Cleveland

From far left, Dr. Moody, Connie Schultz, Dennis Thatcher, and Steve Levy. Photo by Emily Santos
From far left, Dr. David L. Moody, Connie Schultz, Dennis Thatcher, and Steve Levy ’87. Photo by Emily Santos

Coordinator and SUNY Oswego Professor Dr. David L. Moody brought a unique alternate discussion about Cleveland, Ohio to  this year’s Summit, called “Lets Talk Cleveland.” Cleveland is where Dr. Moody’s as well as two of this year’s Media Summit panelists call home– Pulitzer Prize winner, Connie Schultz and President of Mission Broadcasting Inc,  Dennis Thatcher. Oswego alumnus and ESPN Anchor, Steve Levy ’87, also weighed in during the talk.

[su_pullquote align=”left”]“I went to Cleveland twice in my life, so I don’t know much about it. But I do know about their sports!” – ESPN Sports Anchor Steve Levy[/su_pullquote]

They discussed Cleveland’s sports, such as basketball player Lebron James’ infamous leave from the Cleveland Cavaliers, to the Miami Heats, and his return back.

Earlier in the the day Schultz and Thatcher presented to smaller groups of SUNY Oswego students.


The panel also got into the controversies between racist team names, mascots portraying Native Americans and whether or not they should be changed. Levy pointed out that a change will most likely happen.

[su_quote]“It has too, it can’t be worth the effort and it can’t be worth the distraction, it can’t be worth the fight and it can’t be worth the money.” – Steve Levy on the Washington Redskins[/su_quote]



They finished off with a question and answer section, relating to this years’ Summit theme digital media.  They were asked how reporting has been affected as a result of the changing media landscape.

Charlie Rose Photo by Chris O'Neil       Media Summit Panel Discussion

Once the clock hit 1:30pm, students made their way to the Marano Campus Center Ice Arena to take their seats for the main event, the panelist discussion. This was the first year the Summit was held in the Marano Center Ice Arena, but the arena was packed by 2:30, and the start of the show.

[su_quote]”We needed a bigger venue for this year’s big personalities (Al Roker ’76, Charlie Rose).” – Louis A. Borrelli Jr.[/su_quote]

Once the doors closed, renowned journalist and media personality Charlie Rose of CBS’s “This Morning” and the “Charlie Rose” show on PBS, took the stage with SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley and past Honorary Doctorate Recipient Ken Auletta ’63.

Charlie was awarded an honorary doctorate degree for his outstanding contributions to media and the world around him.

[su_quote]“While this honorary degree recognizes Mr. Rose’s distinguished career in journalism, it also recognizes his definitive role at the core of the global conversation,” – SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley[/su_quote]

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The panelist discussion was moderated by Ken Auletta ’63, and focused on the impact of digital journalism on the media industry. Students were invited up to ask questions on the topic and for the majority of the discussion, it became the Connie Schultz and friends show. Schultz became the crowd favorite, with her feminist viewpoints and sense of humor.

The big personalities filled the stage with their discussion and advice to students. Here’s a sample of some of the commentary.

[su_quote]”We have more tools at our disposal than ever before.” – Charlie Rose[/su_quote]

[su_quote]”It’s a fact of life…the big growth is the web. We all know print is on the way out.” – Dennis Thatcher[/su_quote]

[su_quote]”We need more people of color and more women to cover different perspectives in news and politics. We aren’t holding our politicians accountable.” – Connie Shultz[/su_quote]

Namesake of the Media Summit
Dr. Louis B. O’Donnell

As the discussion wrapped up President Stanley, and Al Roker returned to the stage to present Louis A. Borrelli Jr. ’77, the founder of the Media Summit with the SUNY Oswego Presidential Medal for his contributions to the university.

Roker said that the Media Summit would not have even started without his efforts. Borrelli has always supported the students of the college, and especially those in the Media Organizations (WTOP-10, WNYO-88.9 FM, and the Oswegonian Newspaper)

Campaign Launch: With Passion and Purpose

By Robert Hackford
By Robert Hackford

The days events came to a close with “The Tomorrow Show,”  a talk show style show hosted by President Stanley and Oswego Alumus Steve Levy ’87. The show was the launch of President Stanley’s $40 million campaign “With Passion and Purpose” for the university.  The campaign at launch has already raised $31 million, thanks to generous contributions from alumni such as Barbara Shineman, who was present that evening and Lorraine and Nunzio Marano for which now the campus center is named. This exclusive event gathered notable alumni and donors to the Marano Center Ice Arena to enjoy a student run production that focused on the campuses successes and programs. The show highlighted extended learning programs, exemplary staff and students, as well overall Oswego.


This year’s Louis B. O’Donnell Media Summit met standards that were seemingly unattainable, but at the end of the day the campus felt refreshed and alive with excitement and Oswego pride.