Local News Anchors Support AT&T Classic Football Showcase

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Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole and ABC7/WJLA’s Leon Harris and Cynné Simpson

join roster of participants for this year’s annual weekend in Washington, D.C.


 Just 44 days until the start of this year’s AT&T Nation’s Football Classic™ weekend, and the excitement is building.

Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art, will deliver the sermon at the Chapel Service on Sunday, September 2 at the Rankin Chapel at Cramton Auditorium, and ABC7/WJLA news anchors Leon Harris and Cynné Simpson will serve as emcees of the Official Welcome Dinner and Presidents’ Reception, respectively. Both the dinner and reception are private events for the participating teams, sponsors and special guests during the weekend.

Events surrounding the 2nd annual AT&T Nation’s Football Classic™ will be held over Labor Day weekend from Thursday, August 30 through Sunday, September 2 in Washington, D.C. The football game features Morehouse College vs. Howard University on Saturday, September 1 at RFK Stadium at 3:30 p.m. This year’s Classic tagline -- “Classic Rivalry. Classic Tradition. Classic Fun” -- reflects the storied matchup between Howard and Morehouse, the diverse schedule of events available for the public to attend throughout the weekend, and the one-of-a-kind experience that only a Classic can deliver.

“The personalities, participating teams, and sponsors associated with the Classic are critical to making the weekend a success so we are honored to have such esteemed professionals as Dr. Cole, Leon Harris and Cynné Simpson joining us for this year’s festivities surrounding the AT&T Nation’s Football Classic™,” said Erik A. Moses, managing director of Events DC’s Sports and Entertainment Division.

Cole, Harris and Simpson each have ties to the District of Columbia, home to Howard University, and Atlanta, where Morehouse College is located. As president of Spelman College in Atlanta and Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C., Cole is the only person to have served as president of these two historically Black colleges for women in the United States. Cole has had a long and distinguished career as an educator and humanitarian, and was appointed Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in March 2009.

Harris, who will host the Welcome Dinner for the participating teams, anchors the 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts for ABC7/WJLA-TV. A familiar face for Washingtonians, Harris came to the District after spending 20 years at CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta. The Presidents’ Reception will be hosted by Simpson, an anchor for ABC7/WJLA-TV’s Good Morning Washington. A graduate of Howard University, Simpson previously was an evening anchor at Atlanta’s CBS affiliate.

Individual tickets for the football game are priced $25 to $50 (plus applicable fees), and on sale at ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster outlets, the Howard University Box Office located at Cramton Auditorium and the Morehouse College Bookstore.

For more information on the AT&T Nation’s Football Classic™,  visit www.nationsfootballclassic.com.