The first-ever Founder’s Weekend, Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, will feature the return of the popular Green and Gold Day, a groundbreaking ceremony, a fundraising challenge from a famous alumnus and much more.

This year marks 160 years since the college’s forerunner, the Oswego Primary Teachers’ Training School, was founded as a teacher training institution in 1861 by Edward Austin Sheldon. The weekend leads into Sheldon’s Oct. 4 birthday 198 years ago.

One of the most famous graduates in Oswego’s 160 years leads the 1861 Giving Challenge to support current and future students. Al Roker, the 1976 alumnus who is weatherman and co-host of NBC’s “Today” show pledged a $50,000 gift if the college can get 861 people to make a gift to Oswego within 1,861 minutes starting at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30. Visit to make a pledge starting Thursday or to learn more.

Two events featuring successful alumni and the college’s next entrepreneurial success stories will unfold on Sept. 30. The School of Business Symposium will address “Building Communities through Entrepreneurship” at 3 p.m. in the Park Hall auditorium (Room 315). Panelists will include 1985 alumnus Bob Moritz, global chairman of PwC; 1976/2001 alumna Phyllis Moore Holloway, a businessowner, longtime educator and non-profit leader; and 2007 alumnus Jeff Knauss, co-founder of the Digital Hyve marketing agency.

An expanded version of the college’s annual Launch It student entrepreneur competition will kick off with in-person pitches at 5 p.m. in the Park Hall auditorium. This sessions along with two more on Friday, Oct. 1 -- 4 p.m. in the same location and 6 p.m. as a virtual event -- allow students to start building teams as they compete for a $2,500 top prize among other cash awards. Students can learn more and register by joining the SUNY Oswego Innovation Community platform on Engage,, or emailing

School spirit

The campus community is invited to show their school colors and spirit on Friday, Oct. 1, wherever they are for the 2021 Green and Gold Day. A group photo of those sporting green and gold will take place between 1:30 and 2 p.m. on the northwest lawn of the Marano Campus Center. Those who can’t make the photo in person are invited to share their pride by posting their wearing of green and gold on social media with the #OswegoPride hashtag.

Friday afternoon will feature a historic moment with a groundbreaking for the ambitious renovation of Hewitt Hall at around 2:15 p.m. Taking place outside the Northeast Entrance of Hewitt Hall, this ceremony will mark the official kickoff of the $80 million renovation of Hewitt to become a state-of-the-art home to the School of Communication, Media and the Arts’ broadcasting, design and cinema and screen studies programs.

For more information, visit the Founder's Weekend website.