Livingstone College

Two to be inducted into Commemorative Classic Hall of Fame

Romus Jefferies

Romus Jefferies

Bruce Duke

Bruce Duke

SALISBURY – Two college football standouts from Livingstone and Johnson C. Smith University will be inducted into the Commemorative Classic Hall of Fame Nov. 3.
Livingstone College will induct Romus Morris Jefferies, a native of Salisbury, and Johnson C. Smith University of Charlotte will induct Bruce Duke.
The two will be inducted during a ceremony Friday evening hosted by Livingstone, the day before the historic Commemorative Classic football game on Saturday, which celebrates the 125th anniversary of black college football in America. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. at Livingstone Alumni Football Stadium.
The Commemorative Classic is held each year between Livingstone and JCSU to commemorate the inaugural game played on Dec. 27, 1892, between the two colleges on the front lawn of Livingstone College. It is the last game of the regular football season.
Jefferies graduated from Dunbar High School in East Spencer. With his natural athletic abilities, he became an outstanding football and basketball player, once scoring 45 points in a basketball game.
After graduating from Dunbar, he continued his education on a full four-year football scholarship, offered by the late J.D. Marshall, to attend Livingstone College. He earned a starting position as split end his freshman year and became a four-year letterman.
As freshman, Jefferies scored 15 touchdowns from the hands of All American Quarterback Alfred “The Great” Tyler. Jefferies set several records at Livingstone once running four touchdowns in a single game.
He continued to excel being named Coca-Cola Golden Helmet and Most Valuable Player, and was selected to the CIAA team three times out of his four years at Livingstone.
After graduation in 1971, he continued his football career with the Buffalo Bills. He was inducted into the Livingstone College Hall of Fame in 2002 and into the Rowan County Hall of Fame in 2003.
After his football career, he returned to North Carolina and became a business owner and operator of Hardees Food System. He currently serves as the North Carolina president of the Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World, where he has been involved fraternally since 1978.
He is married to Delphia and they have one daughter.
Duke was an All-CIAA selection in 1971 as a running back and kick return specialist.  During his career, he rushed for over 2,000 yards and had more than 1,000 kick return yards.
Playing under legendary head coach Eddie McGirt, Duke helped the Golden Bulls to 30 wins over his playing career, including a 4-1 record over the Blue Bears.
After graduating from JCSU in 1975 with a degree in business administration, Duke went on to work at Wachovia Corp and retired in 2010 from All-State Insurance Company after 25 years with the company.
Since his retirement, he has kept busy by coaching youth in the Charlotte Flights Track & Field Club and is currently an assistant football coach at Independence High School.
The two recent inductees as well as the former honorees will also be recognized during halftime of the Commemorative Classic on Saturday.
Other special guests at the game will include Marques Fitch, executive director of the Black College Football Hall of Fame; Willie Jeffries, a Black College Football Hall of Famer; and Jacqie McWilliams, CIAA commissioner.
For more information, visit www.livingstone.edu and click on the commemorative classic link.

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