DURHAM, N.C. – Supported by an anonymous gift, Duke Athletics dedicated the C.G. Newsome Players Plaza on Friday afternoon. Located just off the second floor of the Yoh Football Center, the plaza sits adjacent to the Bostock Gate at the north end of Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium.
“What a tremendous honor, recognition and affirmation this is for me,” Newsome said. “This is not my space, but our space. It’s the kind of space that reflects a team effort on the part of the entire university.
“Forty-nine years ago when I left Card Gym for my first practice at Duke, I could never imagine that moment would lead to this moment,” Newsome continued. “I am proof positive that dreams do come true and that miracles do happen. Duke was where I needed to come to take care of me in order to have something worthwhile to share with others. All these years that’s what I have tried to do, both as an athlete and as a student.”
Newsome is a triple Duke University alumnus having earned a bachelor of arts degree in religion in 1972, a master’s degree from Duke’s Divinity School in 1975 and a doctorate degree in religion in 1982. A native of Ahoskie, N.C., and former letterman as a member of the Blue Devil football team, he was a Dean’s List honoree as an undergraduate and chosen to deliver the student commencement address in 1972.
“This is a special moment,” said Dr. Kevin White, Duke’s Vice President and Director of Athletics. “C.G. represents everything that athletics is about. He was a really good student at Duke, a good football player and a great leader. If you could take any of our student-athletes here at Duke right now and tell them to emulate any former Duke player, leader and student, it would be this guy right here.”
“I decided what we would try to accomplish with our players at Duke is that they would seek greatness on the field, off the field and in the community because you’ve done it all,” Duke head football coach David Cutcliffe said, pointing to Newsome. “We very much appreciate your leadership in that regard. We look forward to lots of years of entering in and out of C.G. Newsome Players Plaza. I cannot thank you enough for being a role model and what you’ve embodied for Duke Football and Duke University.”
In addition to an eight-year stint as a member of the Duke Divinity School faculty, Newsome served as the dean of the School of Divinity at Howard University and president of Shaw University. As well, he is the former president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Elected to Duke’s Board of Trustees in 2002, Newsome serves on the Human Resources Committee and the Undergraduate Education Committee. He previously served as chair of the Committee on Honorary Degrees and was a member of the Academic Affairs Committee.