SU students compete for live spot on NBC's Today Show

On Monday, Kathie Lee and Hoda's camera crew visited SU, which has been named a finalist in the "Kathie Lee and Hoda Go Back to College Challenge."

A strong love for Syracuse and morning wine collided as camera crews for The Today Show filmed live on campus Monday morning. Syracuse University was named a finalist for the "Kathie Lee and Hoda Go Back to College Challenge" and cameras caught the reaction of enthusiastic students decked out in orange. 

SU is one of six schools competing for a visit and live broadcast from Kathie Lee and Hoda during the first week of October.  Along with Ohio State University, University of Tennessee, University of South Florida, Creighton University and Brandels University, Syracuse was selected from an overwhelming display of spirited tweets at the fourth-hour ladies.

A collection of Greek life, the marching band and morning talk show lovers chanted in front of the cameras during the live reveal and taping of show promotions. 

Students were not the only ones feeling the spirit and excited for their five seconds of fame. Syracuse University Marching Band Director Justin Mertz said, “It’s just a typical Monday morning, you know performing for live TV … no big deal here!”

But for many students, Monday really was just a typical morning because they had no idea that the surprise morning show visit was happening as they walked to classes. Producers from The Today Show made rounds knocking on the doors of Greek houses Sunday evening to roundup students for Monday’s filming, and the marching band was only alerted of a “super secret” over the weekend.

Junior clarinet player Kacie Flynn suspected the secret was The Today Show; she “had seen some people tweeting trying to get on the show” and the band is usually involved in big spirit activities because they are “loud, have a good presence and can pump things up really easily.”

Students offered to share some orange with Kathie Lee and Hoda, and demonstrated to The Today Show’s Sara Hainea—along with the rest of America—why Syracuse University deserves a special visit. Magazine and public health senior Nina Keehan told the live audience that watching Kathie Lee and Hoda “is just like a religion” here. Plus, she added, they “look great in orange!”

It is up to America to pick the winner and voting will stay open until Sept. 25. If you want to see Kathie Lee and Hoda looking elegant in orange attire, log on to to cast your vote.


Photos by Lauren Levy

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