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Coke unveils special bottle at Livingstone for 125th anniversary of black college football

 Livingstone College

SALISBURY — Have a Coke and a Blue Bear smile.

Coca-Cola Consolidated unveiled a  limited-edition commemorative bottle at Livingstone College in celebration of the 125th anniversary of black college football in America.

Allie Butler, marketing asset manager for Coca-Cola Consolidated, revealed the classic bottle during Livingstone’s Commemorative Classic Hall of Fame banquet on Nov. 3 at the School of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts on Jake Alexander Boulevard.

This year marks the 125th anniversary of the first black collegiate football game, which was played between Livingstone College and Biddle Memorial Institute (now Johnson C. Smith University) on Dec. 27, 1892, on the front lawn of Livingstone College.

Each year, the two schools battle in the Commemorative Classic to honor that inaugural game. Also annually, each school inducts a graduate into the Commemorative Classic Hall of Fame. This year, the inductees were Romus Morris Jefferies of Livingstone College and Bruce Duke of Johnson C. Smith University.

Butler, an alumna of the university, said she is proud that Coca-Cola created a commemorative bottle for the historic occasion.

State Alexander, executive assistant to the president and vice president of communications and public relations at Livingstone, said it has been a long time coming and thanked Butler for her role in making it happen for the 125th anniversary.

The bottle features the CIAA football championship logo with “125 Years of Black College Football” at the bottom. CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams was on hand for the unveiling.

The football championship game was played Nov. 11 in Salem, Virginia, which is where the limited-edition Coca-Cola bottle was available.

At the Commemorative Classic Hall of Fame Banquet at Livingstone, each guest received a bottle.

“The unveiling of the Coca-Cola commemorative bottle added a special touch to our program and gave our guests a unique souvenir in which to remember the 125th anniversary,” said Livingstone President Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr.. “The first game was played here and now the first Coca-Cola commemorative bottle recognizing that game was unveiled here.’”

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