The Central New York community is invited to a discussion with America’s favorite weatherman and 10-time Emmy Award-winning TV personality Al Roker at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, in SUNY Oswego’s Marano Campus Center.

Al Roker

The SUNY Oswego graduate is the author of “The Storm of the Century,” just published by William Morrow. Fellow Oswego graduate Molly Matott of WSTM-NBC/WTVH-CBS in Syracuse will interview Roker about the book on stage, and then the conversation will move into a Q&A with the audience. Following the discussion, Roker will be available to sign copies of his new book.

SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley will serve as emcee of the event. “We’re delighted to showcase one of our most successful alumni along with one of our newest graduates who happens to be following in his steps as a weekend weathercaster in Syracuse,” she said. “Weather’s potential ferocity has tremendous ramifications, and no one conveys it better than Al Roker in his dramatic new book.”

Tickets are $30 and include VIP seating and a copy of Roker’s book. SUNY Oswego students with valid identification can purchase tickets at the reduced rate of $22.50. Tickets can be purchased at the river’s end bookstore, 19 West Bridge St., Oswego. General admission tickets will be available for $5 beginning Sept. 8. Parking for the event will be free in any campus employee or commuter parking lot.

The book provides a detailed account of the most devastating natural disaster in American history. The category-four hurricane hit Galveston, Texas, on Sept. 8, 1900, killing 10,000 people—more deadly than Katrina and Sandy combined—and causing more than $20 million in damages.

This vastly influential event awakened a nation to the terrifying power of nature. It not only compelled advances in how weather is understood and predicted, Roker writes, but also altered an optimistic nation’s view of its invincibility and affirmed the resolve of its people to recover from immense devastation. Exploring the impact of the disaster on a rising nation’s confidence, Roker illuminates both the energy and the limitations of the American Century.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with SUNY Oswego to bring to Central New York a national celebrity of Al Roker’s caliber,” said Bill Reilly, the owner of the river’s end bookstore. “This event provides campus members and members of the surrounding communities with an opportunity to hear firsthand about Mr. Roker’s latest book, his creative process and the deadliest storm in our country’s history.”

Storm of the Century cover

Roker is the co-host and weather anchor of NBC’s “Today” show and the co-host of The Weather Channel’s “Wake Up with Al.” Over the years, Roker has reported live for “Today” from some of history’s worst storms and natural disasters. He is a member of the American Meteorological Society and best-selling author of earlier books.

In addition to his network duties, Roker has carved out a successful career as an entrepreneur. His multimedia company Al Roker Productions Inc. is involved in the development and production of network, cable, home video and public television projects. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from SUNY Oswego in 1976 and received a SUNY honorary doctorate at Oswego’s 1998 commencement ceremony.

Matott, a North Syracuse native, met Roker last October when he did a live broadcast from SUNY Oswego’s Al Roker Television Studio to help celebrate 10 years of the college’s Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit and launch the college’s $40 million campaign, “With Passion and Purpose.” She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in meteorology in May.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the river’s end bookstore at 315-342-0077 or Tickets are also available online at

People with disabilities who need accommodations to attend this event should contact the Office of University Development at 315-312-5558 as soon as possible.

About the book

As extreme weather events grow in intensity and frequency, Roker delivers a story to match them all in power, magnitude and tragic drama with “The Storm of the Century.” The storm’s 200-mile-per-hour winds and 15-foot waves slammed into Galveston, a prosperous and growing port city on Texas’s Gulf Coast. By dawn the next day, the city that existed just hours before was gone.

Roker adds depth and detail to a story that gripped the country, bringing events to life through vivid moment-by-moment accounts of people who survived it—grocer Arnold Wolfram, newlywed Annie McCullough, schoolteacher Daisy Thorne, police chief Edwin Ketchum, first-grader Louise Bristol and resident weatherman Isaac Cline, who tracked the storm as he lived it—while shedding light on the environmental factors that shaped the hurricane and the historic events surrounding it.