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SUNY Oswego sets world record with alumnus Al Roker

Payne Horning
SUNY Oswego alumnus Al Roker celebrates the college's victory of setting the world record for the longest conga line on ice, with 593 participants. College president Deborah Stanley and Guinness World Record's adjudicator Michael Emprick look on.

Nearly 600 SUNY Oswego students conga-ed their way into the history books this morning, smashing the previous record for the world's longest conga line on ice that was set back in 2013. It was part of a live broadcast on NBC's Today Show with one of the college's most famous alumna, Al Roker. 

Junior biology major David Rivera called it an amazing experience. 

"I read these record books and I'm like wow, I wish I could break one and I got my chance to do it," Rivera said. "It's, it's like a dream right now."


Roker and The Today Show have been on the road all week, doing weather forecasts and setting records at college campuses throughout the country, though Roker says it was nice to finish here.

"This is great, especially to end it all up in your alma mater, that's a good thing," Roker said.  

The 1976 alumnus has returned to campus several times since rising to national fame as a sometimes lighthearted weatherman. Junior broadcast and communications major Krystal Cole says she's seen Roker several times before, but this time was literally historic.

"It's still pretty exciting," Cole said. "You know, it's something I'll remember forever."

Roker quipped that the hundreds gathered in the Marano Campus Center were not there for him. 

"This is fantastic, of course, they could have had an iguana if it was going to get them on TV," Roker said. "It's nice to think they're doing it for me, but everyone wants to be on TV."

But Guinness World Record's adjudicator Michael Empric, who was there to confirm the record, said there was something about Oswego that set it apart from the Today Show's previous stops during Rokerthon. 

"I think the energy was through the roof, not only because the attempt was so appropriate to the community, but Al is an alumnus," Empric said. "Everyone was out to see Al and really try to break a record in his honor."


In addition to setting a record, Roker passed out two $5,000 scholarships that SUNY Oswego plans on matching. 

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.