For the second time in four years, Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf has a connection to football’s biggest game, the Super Bowl.
This Sunday, Feb. 5, RIT/NTID alumnus Kriston Lee Pumphrey will sign the National Anthem and “America, the Beautiful” prior to the much-anticipated kickoff. Pumphrey, a 2010 graduate of RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology, will perform alongside country music star Luke Bryan and Renee Elise Goldsberry, Jasmine Cephas Jones and Phillipa Soo—three of the original cast members of the Broadway show Hamilton—during the pre-game ceremony at NRG Stadium in Houston. The contest between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons for Super Bowl LI will be televised on FOX. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. EST.
This will be Pumphrey’s first time performing at the game.
“It’s a huge honor and I’m elated,” he said. “I’m thankful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I am amazed by the stream of support from friends, family and the community at large. I can’t express enough how excited I am to have been selected by the National Association of the Deaf to not only represent our community as vibrant and diverse, but to make RIT/NTID proud.”
Pumphrey lives in Washington, D.C., and works for DPAN-TV, an online video network delivering news and entertainment in American Sign Language, founded by fellow RIT/NTID alumnus and performer Sean Forbes.
In 2014, RIT/NTID alumna Amber Zion performed American Sign Language versions of the National Anthem and “America, the Beautiful” alongside opera star and Rochester native Renee Fleming.