In addition to this morning’s live broadcast from the Superior Dome, NMU received additional media exposure through recorded footage of the Today show’s Al Roker touring various campus locations and interacting with students, faculty and staff. Following is a summary and related photos of what Roker and his production crew saw and did Monday afternoon in advance of the broadcast.
After arriving at Sawyer International Airport, the group traveled directly to the Art & Design Building. Director Daric Christian escorted them to three studios. In Peter Pless’ human-centered design area, Roker watched as a computer-controlled router etched his image on a piece of wood. He also saw a 3D printer’s capabilities and watched a demonstration of computer art students using motion capture to create 3D animation. He closed out his Art & Design visit by turning some clay in Brian Kakas’ ceramics studio.
Accompanied by Jared Jacques, an NMU student and campus visit staff member, Roker passed through Hedgcock and Jamrich Hall. They paused at Starbucks to discuss the company’s chairman and CEO Howard Schultz, an NMU alumnus. The contingent proceeded to the Public Eye News studio in the lower level of the Harden Learning Resources Center, where Roker joked with the student anchors and weathercaster preparing for a broadcast.
NMU’s symphonic band appropriately performed “You Can Call Me Al” in its Thomas Fine Arts practice room. Roker accompanied the band on cowbell. His final stop was the Superior Dome, site of today’s live broadcast and world-record attempt. Roker was filmed up on the catwalk and also “coaching” students and Wildcat athletes through drills and a preliminary game of freeze tag in preparation for today’s event.
The NBC production crew also obtained shots of NMU’s Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center lab and off-campus locations in advance of Roker’s arrival. Some of Monday’s footage was used in a package that aired during the live broadcast.