ESPN's Levy to light the way Commencement Eve

ESPN anchor Steve Levy, one of SUNY Oswego’s most recognizable alumni, will return to campus to host the sesquicentennial edition of one of the college’s longest standing traditions Friday, May 13.

Steve Levy.The Oswego Alumni Association will welcome Levy as this year’s master of ceremonies at the Commencement Eve Torchlight Ceremony at the Campus Center. The ceremony where faculty and staff pass the torch of learning to the college’s newest graduates will begin at 8:30 p.m. with the “Senior Sing,” featuring selections by the Oswego State Singers and Jazz Ensemble.

The event is free and open to the public. All graduates of SUNY Oswego are particularly invited to participate in a special edition of Torchlight recognizing the college’s 150th anniversary celebration this year.

“Torchlight will officially launch the celebration of Oswego’s sesquicentennial anniversary,” said Oswego Alumni Association Executive Director Betsy Oberst. “What better way to kick off this milestone year commemorating the college’s rich history than with one of its greatest traditions?”

This year’s high-profile alumnus host will also enhance the event, she said.

“Steve is a great example of the kind of successful graduates Oswego has produced for decades,” Oberst said. “We think he will really resonate with this class, these torchbearers of founder Edward Austin Sheldon’s legacy.”

Levy has been an anchor on “SportsCenter” since joining ESPN in 1993. He has also handled play-by-play of the NHL on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Sports; college football on ESPN2; and the NCAA Division I men’s hockey Frozen Four.  He has also served as the studio host for ESPN’s NHL telecasts and co-hosted “The NFL on ESPN Radio.”

Diverse cast

Levy, for whom the press box in the Campus Center convocation center and arena is named, cut his teeth at WTOP-TV and WOCR-FM (now WNYO-FM) as a communication studies major at Oswego.

The 1987 Oswego graduate joins a diverse cast of recent emcees that includes World Wrestling Entertainment executive Donna Goldsmith (class of 1982), former gubernatorial press secretary and public relations executive Saleem Cheeks (class of 2001), popular Albany area television news anchor and reporter Benita Zahn (class of 1976) and 9/11 hero Lt. John McLoughlin (Class of 1975).

With the exception of Commencement, the Torchlight Ceremony is the longest-standing academic tradition on campus. Lida Penfield, for whom Penfield Library was named, wrote “The Message of the Torch” more than 70 years ago.

Last year, seven decades of alumni were represented in the Inner Circle at Torchlight. To join the group that will symbolically welcome the class of 2011 to the Oswego Alumni Association, RSVP by May 9 by calling 315-312-2258, sending email to or visiting the Oswego Alumni Association website,

Parking is free in campus lots that night for this event.

PHOTO CAPTION: Lighten Up—Class of 1987’s Steve Levy will be master of ceremonies at the SUNY Oswego Commencement Eve Torchlight Ceremony May 13.

(Posted: Apr 27, 2011)

Tags: torchlight, alumni