Despite attempts at wooing NBC TV anchors Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb to host their segment of the Today show on campus, which included a grass-skirted Rocky D. Bull, a marriage proposal to Kotb from Student Government Vice President George Papadeas and an aggressive online voting campaign, Gifford and Kotb announced on Monday they would visit the University of Tennessee.
The College Challenge, a school spirit competition, had six finalists, which were USF, University of Tennessee, Syracuse University, Ohio State University, Creighton University and Brandeis University. The University of Tennessee won with almost 150,000 votes and will be the location for the Fourth Hour segment of the Today show on Oct. 1. That segment will be hosted by Kathie Lee and Hoda.
The Today Show competition began on Sept. 5 when staff and students from universities nationwide sent tweets to #KLGandHodaU with words, pictures and videos showing school spirit, pride and why each is the best location for the segment.
After USF was selected as one of the six university finalists, people voted for their favorite school on http://today.msnbc.msn.com. Sarah Haines, a news correspondent for the Fourth Hour, visited each finalist school, including USF, for a live broadcast to show and promote the school.
USF hosted a tropical-themed event for the broadcast. Voting went on until Friday.