Photo: Grambling State University’s World Famed Marching Band performing halftime during the Black College Football Hall of Fame Football Classic, September 2021 in Canton, Ohio. Credit: HCF Media Team.

CHICAGO, IL – The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF), a non-profit advocacy and educational organizations, announces the return of its Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour for its sixth year in 2022. Organization representatives will hit the road this fall once again in support of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) football classics. The tour will be joined by the Division of College Relations and Scholarships on specific dates to assist with recruiting students to HBCUs. The Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour is the organization’s most significant initiative program.

L to R: Keisha J. Kelley, CEO of BlackCollegeExperience and Demetrius Johnson Jr., Founder, President & CEO at HBCU Campaign Fund pictured at 80th Magic City Classic in Birmingham, AL.

In 2021, the tour made stops at the BCFHOF Football Classic in Canton, OH; Circle City Classic and College Fair in Indianapolis, IN; Alabama State University’s homecoming game; Magic City Classic in Birmingham, AL; Bayou Classic in New Orleans, LA; and the SWAC Football Championship game. The organization looks to return to its previously annual appearances at the Southern Heritage Classic and College and Career Fair, and the Chicago Football Classic. It also looks to add to the roster the John Merritt Classic, Fountain City Classic, St. Louis HBCU Classic, and Turkey Day Classic. The Division of College Relations and Scholarships joins the tour for the CFC, SHC, and CCC college fairs to provide to students with imperative information about attending college and the HBCU experience/campus life.

“This will be year two since the pandemic had to put us on shutdown, and football year were canceled in 2020. As always, Our media team is so excited to return to the field sidelines to cover and highlight HBCU football as well as our college fair representatives, but what’s more enjoying is meeting people of our HBCU family,” said Demetrius Johnson Jr., Founder, President & CEO at HBCU Campaign Fund. “It is such a reminiscing moment to look forward to planning season and put our outreach efforts in motion to tell the story of our nation’s HBCUs and MSIs. I believe this initiative is our happy space, and we look forward to it every year.”

The Division of College Relations and Scholarships was established to partner with and recruit prospective students to HBCUs and MSIs. Representatives are assigned to mentor and encourage students to choose the right institution that best fits their educational needs. The division has also established its signature “College Bound Guide Folders,” which provides students with college tips, scholarship information, FAFSA information, HBCU marketing materials – brochures and flyers, and career planning information.

“We always look to getting back out and meeting with students and their parents in encouraging them to choose HBCU; that is our goal at HCF. We also hope to encourage others to enroll at an HBCU or even support one. We also hope to continue to inspire and meet members of the HBCU community and supporters who follow the work of our organization,” Demetrius continued. “We hope this tour brings empowerment and awareness to HBCUs while making sure the names of HBCU institutions are known to the unknown.”

The 2022 confirmed dates are as follows.

  • Sunday, September 4th: Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic; Canton, Ohio
  • Friday, September 9th: SHC College and Career Fair; Saturday, September 10th: SHC football game; Memphis, TN
  • Saturday, October 1st: John Merritt Classic; Nashville, TN *
  • Sunday, October 16th: St. Louis HBCU Classic; St. Louis, MO
  • Saturday, October 29th: Magic City Classic; Birmingham, AL
  • Saturday, November 5th: Fountain City Classic; Columbus, GA *
  • Thursday, November 24th: Turkey Day Classic; Birmingham, AL *
  • Saturday, November 26th: Bayou Classic; New Orleans, LA
  • Circle City Classic, TBA
  • Chicago Football Classic, TBA
  • = pending confirmation. All dates are subject to cancellation and may not be rescheduled.

Those who would like to donate to support HCF’s continued advocacy work and the Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour can give online by clicking here or text CAMPAIGNFORHBCUS to 1-844-701-5181.

Photo: 2021 Circle City Classic battle of the bands halftime show, Indianapolis, Indiana. Credit: HCF Media Team.

About the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF)
The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) was founded in 2012 and is a nonprofit educational organization that remains a strong advocate for students and higher education. The mission of HCF is to support the significance and raise funds for scholarships, programming, and for private and public HBCUs and MSIs. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

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Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) will send its football team to Canton, Ohio next labor day weekend for the third Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame and WSSU jointly announced the Rams’ participation in the Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic 2022 on Friday.The Rams’ athletics administration also announced that nine-year NFL veteran Robert Massey had been promoted from the position of interim head coach to head coach that same day.

The 2022 Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic tentatively is scheduled for Sept. 4 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) has tentatively added the Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic to its 2022 Sixth Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour line-up.

WSSU’s opponent, along with ticket information and other details about the 2022 Black College Hall of Fame Classic weekend, will be announced in the comings weeks.

“We are thrilled to host Winston-Salem State University in the third Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic,” said Adrian Allison, Chief Relationship Officer at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “Fans of the Classic can expect Coach Massey to bring an energetic team ready to kick off its season in the shadow of the shrine of football. Additionally, the school’s ‘Red Sea of Sound’ band will continue the tradition of having fans experience one of the best halftimes in sports.”

Robert Massey, head football coach at Winston-Salem State University.

Last season, the Rams finished in third place in the Southern Division of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association with Massey serving under the title of interim head coach.

Massey has played nine season in the National Football League following his collegiate career at North Carolina Central University, where he was a standout defensive back who earned All-CIAA honors twice and All-American honors as a senior. He ended his playing days third on the team’s career interception list.

Selected in the second round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints, Massey was named to the 1989 NFL All-Rookie Team after starting all 16 games and contributing five inceptions on a team that finished with a 9-7 record. He also played for the Cardinals Lions, Jaguars and Giants.

Another NFL Legend, Eddie George, made his college coaching debut in Canton this year with Tennessee State. His Tiger fell to the Grambling State Tigers 16-10 in the second Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic.

In the inaugural Classic in 2019, Alabama A&M topped Morehouse 35-30 on a last-second touchdown pass.

The game in 2020 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA – The Kick-off press conference for the 48th Annual Bayou Classic, presented by Procter & Gamble, featuring the historic rivalry between the Tigers of Grambling State University and the Jaguars of Southern University. The Bayou Classic is revered as the “Granddaddy” of HBCU college matchups.

Governmental leaders, tourism leaders, Bayou Classic organizers and representative from both Southern University and Grambling State University will make and provide updates on this year’s 48th Annual Bayou Classic scheduled for November 26-27.

The Bayou Classic is the annual extravaganza bringing the fans and alumni of Grambling State University and Southern University to New Orleans each November for a celebration of football, family and the traditions surrounding Historically Black College and Universities.

Other events include the Bayou Classic Parade, which will once again hit the streets of New Orleans the Saturday of Bayou Classic – Saturday, November 27. The parade starts at 9:30 am. Of note, the parade route has been changed back to its original route.

This year’s Bayou Classic parade will start on Elysian Fields at the river; N Peters Street past the French Market; down N Peters St/Decatur; turn right off N Peters St on Canal; turn left off Canal on St Charles Ave; turn right off St Charles Ave on Poydras Street; turn right off Poydras on Loyola; parade disembarks at Duncan Plaza on Loyola.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA – The Black College Football Hall of Fame announced the establishment of the HBCU Legacy Bowl Career Fair, presented by the New Orleans Saints.

The first annual HBCU Legacy Bowl Career Fair will be held February 17-18, 2022 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. The event will provide job opportunities and career counseling for graduating seniors from Louisiana’s four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (Dillard, Grambling State, Southern and Xavier) and feature expert panels, motivational speakers and direct interaction with national and statewide corporate partners. Admission is free. In addition, eight HBCU graduating seniors will be selected as interns to gain hands-on experience during HBCU Legacy Bowl week.

“We are honored and thankful to have the support of Gayle Benson and the New Orleans Saints in this meaningful initiative to provide opportunities for HBCU students,” said Super Bowl MVP and Black College Football Hall of Fame Co-Founder Doug Williams. “Their generous, multi-year commitment will allow us to continue our work in lifting up the HBCU community.”

“We are excited about the HBCU Legacy Bowl coming to New Orleans and the opportunity to work with the Black College Football Hall of Fame to present the Career Fair,” said New Orleans and New Orleans Pelicans owner Gayle Benson. “Dillard, Grambling State, Southern and Xavier universities are responsible for educating and nurturing generations of leaders who have made Louisiana a unique vibrant and entrepreneurial community. We are eager to work with the Legacy Bowl to provide greater insights into careers in and around sports and, more importantly, create more opportunities for careers within these industries.”

About The Black College Hall of Fame
The Black College Hall of Fame was founded in 2009 by African-American Pioneers, quarterbacks James Harris and Doug Williams to preserve the history and honor the greatest football players, coaches and contributors from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). There have been 90 inductees since inception, including Mel Blount, James Harris, Willie Lanier, Art Shell and Doug Williams, who serve as Trustees.

The Black College Football Hall of Fame presented annually by The Shack Harris & Doug Williams Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization. For more information, visit www.blackcollegefootballhof.org.

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Commissioner Dr. Dennis E. Thomas, has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 SWAC Lifetime Achievement Award. Thomas is an alumnus of Alcorn State.

During his collegiate playing career, Thomas was a standout offensive lineman at Alcorn State where he was a two-time Pittsburgh Courier All-American (1972 and 1973), and was named SWAC Offensive Player of the Year in 1973 – the first and only offensive lineman to win the award. Thomas was a member of the Braves’ 1970 SWAC championship team, and his team, and his teams went a combined 27-8-1.

He is currently in his 20th year as Commissioner of the MEAC, following a period of nearly two decades that has seen the conference remain financially stable, strengthen institutional compliance and improve student-athlete graduation rates. In the process, he has gained the distinction as one of leading collegiate athletics administrators in America.

The steady leadership of Thomas has reassured the league’s student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans alike that their health and safety take precedence over athletics competitions, in keeping with the MEAC’s motto of “Educating Student-Athletes for the Game of Life.”

The MEAC celebrated its Golden Anniversary in 2020-21, celebrating 50 years since its founding in 1970. Under Thomas’ guidance, the conference continues to be a pacesetter even during a global pandemic.

Thomas is scheduled to be formally recognized at the 2021 SWAC Hall of Fame presented by Pepsi on Friday, December 17th at 6 p.m. CST/7 p.m. EST at the Omni Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.

About the SWAC
The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) is considered one of the premier HBCU conferences in the country and currently ranks among the elite in the nation in terms of HBCU alumni playing with professional sports teams

Current championship competition offered by the league includes competition for men in Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field and Tennis

Women’s competition is offered in the sports of Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field, Soccer, Softball, Tennis and Volleyball.

BLUEFIELD, W.VA (August 16, 2020) – Bluefield State College announced the addition of 12 new sports to its athletics department for the 2021-2022 school year. These will join the ten existing sports to become a robust program for more than 400 student-athletes.

Leading the way is the return of Division II football, for the first time since 1980.

“Fielding a football team after such a long absence is a huge step forward. To do this now is our way of saying there is life after COVID for this College and our community,” said Robin Capehart, Bluefield State’s President. “Expanding our athletics program is integral to the goals we set shortly after coming to Bluefield State.”

Interim Director of Athletics Derrick Price added, “We’re hiring for these new sports now. I’m prioritizing coaches with proven abilities to recruit. We will target good student athletes with the goal of being competitive immediately.”

In addition to football, Bluefield State will compete in the following new sports:

  • Women’s soccer
  • Women’s golf
  • Women’s acrobatics and tumbling
  • Women’s swimming
  • Women’s bowling
  • Women’s indoor track and field
  • Women’s outdoor track and field
  • Men’s indoor track and field
  • Men’s outdoor track and field
  • Men’s swimming
  • Wrestling

Bluefield State currently competes in Men’s baseball, basketball, cross country, golf and tennis. Also, Women’s softball, basketball, cross country, volleyball and tennis.

“Our first priority remains attracting more students. As an HBCU, we have an obligation to recruiting more African American students. We have done that. We changed the name of our Library to honor an African American alumnus who went on to a highly distinguished career in the State Department.”

“Adding these sports will increase opportunities for more students and add a vibrancy that we’ve lacked for too long. It also strengthens our relationships in the community as we partner on the use of various facilities.”

Interim Director Price added, “Making this commitment to these young people also means making a commitment to doing all the things that go with a full-bore athletics programs, new and improved facilities, upgraded training, residences and meals. It also means working with the Provost and Dean so that our athletes have a tremendous academic experiences as well.”

“Bluefield State has a proud sports tradition, including two national football championships. I fell blessed to be here now and help write a new chapter to our story.”

Full and partial scholarships will be offered to new athletes.

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About Bluefield State College
Bluefield State College provide students an affordable, accessible opportunity for public higher education. An historically black institution, Bluefield State College prepares students for diverse profession, graduate study, informed citizenship, community involvement, and public service in an ever-changing global society. The College demonstrates its commitment to the student’s intellectual, personal, ethical, and cultural development by providing a dedicated faculty and staff, quality educational programs, and strong student support services in a nurturing environment. For more information, visit www.bluefieldstate.edu.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – In light of the recent events with the current pandemic, as well as the decision from Albany State to cancel the football season, the Orange Blossom Classic is disappointed to announce that the organizers will not be able to host the 2020 Orange Blossom Classic. The resurgence of the Orange Blossom Classic is significant to the community and looks forward to its return in 2021.

The organizers plan to usher in a new energy and experience during the Labor Day weekend showcase, which features Florida A&M University’s inaugural season in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) against Jackson State University in the 27th Annual Orange Blossom Classic presented by the AEA Education Foundation, Inc. The organizers apologize for this inconvenience and ask for your understanding and patience as they process refunds during these unprecedented times.

2020 Orange Blossom Classic Ticket returns

Credit Card Purchases


Tickets purchased directly though Ticketmaster will be automatically refunded. Due to the overwhelming number of events, refunds can take up to 30 days.

Cash, Checks, and Credit Card Purchases


All other tickets purchased through Florida A&M University or Albany State University athletic departments, contact schools directly for refund policy.

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About the Orange Blossom Classic


The Orange Blossom Classic was founded by J.R.E. Lee Jr., the son of Florida A&M University’s president in 1993 in which FAMU beat Howard 9-0 in front of 2,000 fans at a “blacks-only” ballpark in Jacksonville, Fla. from 1993-1978, this was the must see game of the post season that helped establish the foundation of HBCU classics.

In 2021 Labor Day Weekend, the Orange Blossom Classic will return with Florida A&M University and Jackson State University. Our event was re-established to enhance the exposure of Historically Black College and Universities in the enriched community of Miami Gardens. Our event highlights the community’s exclusive interest in HBCUs and the roles that they play in educating aspiring professionals & developing our future leaders.

The Orange Blossom Classic will attract thousands of fans, alumni, school members and family members from these respected community with a goal to raise scholarship funds for the participating schools for years to come. Doing so, will help to support the knowledge and experience offered by the discipline, commitment and dedication it takes to be a Historically Black College & University student.

 

As we continue to go through uncertainty and experience challenges in the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) organization continues to closely monitor the future scheduling for upcoming events, including football classics and recruitment fairs. Generally, during this time, the Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour scheduling takes place. This year would mark the 5th annual tour, which travels around the nation to support black college sports and join HBCUs in assisting with recruitment efforts. To date, the Indiana Black Expo has announced the cancellation of its Circle City Classic football game and events, an occasion the organization would normally take part of. We will continue to work with our officials and partner football classics; furthermore, we will work to provide an official update of the tour no later than the end of the month of June. Thank you for the unwavering support of this effort and the organization, we truly appreciate the HBCU nation.

With warmest regards,

Demetrius Johnson, Jr.
President and CEO, Founder
HBCU Campaign Fund