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Timothy Cardinal Dolan to Provide Invocation at 2016 NFF Annual Awards Dinner
The Archbishop of New York will bring prestige to the evening as the NFF honors college football’s greatest legends and most promising scholar-athletes.
Published: 11/9/2016 11:00:00 AM

IRVING, Texas (Nov. 9, 2016) – The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, will provide the invocation at the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City on Dec. 6.

“We are incredibly honored that Cardinal Dolan has agreed to provide the invocation at this year’s NFF Annual Awards Dinner,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “He clearly stands as one of the most-respected Catholic leaders globally and one of the top community leaders in our nation. His presence will significantly enhance the stature of our event.”

Cardinal Dolan will join a prestigious list of individuals who have provided the invocation at the fabled event, including three other Cardinals: Terrence Cardinal Cooke (Archbishop of New York, 1968-83), Theodore Cardinal McCarrick (Archbishop of Washington, 2000-06) and Francis Cardinal Spellman (Archbishop of New York, 1939-67).

Cardinal Spellman attended the Second NFF Annual Awards Dinner in 1959 to bless the NFF MacArthur Bowl National Championship Trophy before its inaugural presentation. The following year, he returned to deliver his first of five invocations that he would make at the event. He was scheduled to participate a seventh time in 1967, but he passed away three days prior to the event. Cardinal Cook delivered the invocation six times between 1968 and 1976. Cardinal McCarrick provided the invocation three times in 1978, 1979 and 1981 when he was an Auxiliary Bishop of New York and before he was elevated to the cardinalate as the Archbishop of Washington. Most Rev. John J. Maguire, who was the Coadjutor Archbishop for the Archdiocese of New York under both Cardinal Spellman and Cardinal Cooke, gave the invocation in 1962.

“Cardinal Dolan’s blessing will add to a memorable night for all of the NFF attendees and especially the honorees,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “Football has given so much too so many. I can think of no better way to express our gratitude for the game we love than having a religious leader of Cardinal Dolan’s prominence deliver the invocation. We are truly grateful for his willingness to take on this role.”

Notable Episcopal Bishops who have performed the invocation at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner include Right Rev. Charles Francis Boynton (Suffragan Bishop of New York), Right Rev. George L. Cadigan (Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri and subsequently the minister at Amherst College), Right Rev. Horace W.B. Donegan (Bishop of New York), Bishop Frank Juhan (Diocese of Florida and a 1966 College Football Hall of Famer from Sewanee: The University of the South [Tenn.]).

Other ministers who have taken part in the NFF Annual Awards Dinner include Rev. Dr. Arthur Caliandro (Minister of the Marble Collegiate Church), Rev. Dr. Eugene Carson Blake (President of the National Council of Churches), Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh (University of Notre Dame President), Rev. Edmund P. Joyce (University of Notre Dame Executive Vice President), Rev. J. Donald Monan, SJ (Current Chancellor and former President of Boston College) and Rev. Thomas J. Valenti (Columbia University Team Chaplin). Rabbi Dr. Julius Mark from Temple Emanu-El performed the benediction at the dinner eight times.

As the culmination of the 2016 regular season, the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner provides the stage for the induction of the 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class; the awarding of the 2016 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments; the announcement of the winner of the 27th William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments and prominently showcased at its official home inside the New York Athletic Club; and the presentation of several major awards, including the organization’s highest honor, the NFF Gold Medal.

The recipients of the 2016 NFF Major Awards include NFF Chairman and College Football Hall of Fame inductee Archie Manning (NFF Gold Medal), Chancellor of the University of Texas System and retired U.S. Navy four-star admiral William H. McRaven (NFF Distinguished American Award), College Football Hall of Fame coach and AFCA Executive Director Emeritus Grant Teaff (NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award), U.S. Naval Academy Athletics Director Chet Gladchuk (NFF John L. Toner Award for excellence in athletics administration) and the Voice of the Washington Huskies Bob Rondeau (NFF Chris Schenkel Award for excellence in broadcasting).

This year’s College Football Hall of Fame Class includes: Marlin Briscoe (Nebraska Omaha), Derrick Brooks(Florida State), Tom Cousineau (Ohio State), Randall Cunningham (UNLV), Troy Davis (Iowa State), William Fuller (North Carolina), Bert Jones (LSU), Tim Krumrie (Wisconsin), Pat McInally (Harvard), Herb Orvis(Colorado), Bill Royce (Ashland [Ohio]), Mike Utley (Washington State), Scott Woerner (Georgia), Rod Woodson (Purdue) and coaches Bill Bowes (New Hampshire) and Frank Girardi (Lycoming [Pa.]).

The winner of the Campbell Trophy will be announced live at the event on Dec. 6, and the finalists, comprised of the 2016 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class presented by Fidelity Investments, include Chris Beaschler (Dayton), Tim Crawley (San Jose State), DeVon Edwards (Duke), Brooks Ellis (Arkansas), Carter Hanson (Saint John's [Minn.]), Taysom Hill (BYU), Ryan Janvion (Wake Forest), Zay Jones (East Carolina), Cooper Rush (Central Michigan), Karter Schult (Northern Iowa), Tyler Sullivan (Delta State [Miss.]) and Zach Terrell (Western Michigan). For more information regarding the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, please contact NFF Director of External Relations Will Rudd at 972.556.1000 or

His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s Bio

Timothy Dolan was named Archbishop of New York by Pope Benedict XVI on Feb. 23, 2009. He had served as Archbishop of Milwaukee, appointed there by Pope Saint John Paul II on June 25, 2002.

Born Feb. 6, 1950, Cardinal Dolan was the first of five children born to Shirley and Robert Dolan. His education began at Holy Infant Parish School in Ballwin, Mo., and continued through the high school and college seminaries in St. Louis. He then completed his priestly formation at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he earned a License in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of St. Louis on June 19, 1976, he served as associate pastor at Immacolata Parish in Richmond Heights, Mo., until 1979 when he began studies for a doctorate in American Church History at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

On his return to St. Louis, Cardinal Dolan again served in parish ministry from 1983-87, and then was appointed to a five-year term as secretary to the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C. When he returned to St. Louis in 1992, he was appointed vice-rector and professor of Church History at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, as well as an adjunct professor of theology at Saint Louis University.

In 1994, he was appointed rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he remained until June 2001. While in Rome, he also served as a visiting professor of Church History both at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas.

On June 19, 2001 - - the 25th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood - - then Monsignor Dolan was named the Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis by Pope Saint John Paul II, choosing for his Episcopal motto the profession of faith of St. Peter: Ad Quem Ibimus, "To Whom Shall We Go?" (Jn 6:68).

Cardinal Dolan served as chairman of Catholic Relief Services, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of The Catholic University of America. He is also a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; and, at the Vatican, the Congregation for Eastern Churches, and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

Cardinal Dolan was elected to a three year term as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in November 2010.  He now serves as chair of the Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life activities.

On Jan. 6, 2012, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI announced that Timothy Dolan was to be appointed to the College of Cardinals.

Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Dolan participated in the Conclave that elected Pope Francis in March 2013.

About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include, the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy presented by Fidelity Investments, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, Hofmann Brands, New York Athletic Club, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, PrimeSport, the Sports Business Journal, Under Armour & VICIS. Learn more at

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