The upcoming Central State University and Ohio State University game at OSU’s stadium is a big deal for both sports, and for HBCU-PWI relations extends far beyond football. Learn about the significance of an HBCU’s presence on Ohio State’s turf in the story by Holly Zachariah at The Columbus Dispatch below.

Adam Troy – the chief engagement officer of the Community of Caring Development Foundation seen here in 2020 – helped with the activities. (Credit: Joshua A. Bickell/Dispatch)

Yes, a football team other than the Ohio State Buckeyes will play this weekend in Ohio Stadium. But the event is really about so much more than football.

For the first time since 1995, a college football game not involving Ohio State will be played in Ohio Stadium as a pair of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) — Central State and Kentucky State — will compete in the Classic for Columbus.

But there is more that people can participate in and learn from.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the French Field House on campus there will be a career fair sponsored by Battelle and the city of Columbus.

Adam Troy — the chief engagement officer of the Community of Caring Development Foundation, the nonprofit arm of New Salem Baptist Church in North Linden, and an HBCU alumnus of Morehouse College in Atlanta — helped to get this all in place.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities events include job fair, drumline competition and marching bands

“Ohio is rich in HBCU culture with the nation’s oldest private, historically Black university-owned and operated by African Americans, Wilberforce University, and Central State University right down the road,” Troy wrote in a release.

Visitors will be able to learn about HBCUs, talk with job recruiters and, according to organizers, learn about “the unique role these institutions play in America’s educational, business, social, and cultural space.”

The job fair will also feature a drumline competition and marching bands.

Spokeswoman Karla Coleman said Thursday that more than 40 employers will be available.

“It’s more than just a football game and party,” Coleman said. “It’s an opportunity to allow the HBCUs to shine. These schools have been in the community and around for over a hundred years. And all too often people don’t even realize HBCUs are an option.”

In addition, there will be a panel discussion from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the recruiting room at Ohio Stadium (enter through Gate 30) to learn about financial literacy and, specifically, focusing on buying a home. There also is a chance for someone to win $25,000 to help with that purchase.

“Financial literacy empowers consumers to make smart financial decisions by providing the knowledge and skills needed to manage money effectively and, thus, make the journey to homeownership a lot smoother and less stressful,” John Pace, the CEO for Classic for Columbus, wrote in a release.

Coleman reiterated though, how the weekend is about so much more, and how HBCUs produce leaders in politics, in the world of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), and in every aspect of our lives. This weekend is about showcasing all of that, she said.

“This is a ‘welcome home’ kind of event,” she said. “An event to highlight all that we can accomplish together.”